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Trippiest Sea Caves of the Northern Half of Oregon Coast

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By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Trippiest Sea Caves of the Northern Half of Oregon Coast

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(Oregon Coast) – They are the stuff dreams are made of: causing wild flights of imagination that make you think of buried treasure or perhaps bones of old castaways. They are the caves along the beaches of the world, and unfortunately the northern half of Oregon doesn’t have a lot of them (the south coast has many more, but that's a different story). However, what this half of coastline does have can be quite striking, and certainly a rush of surprise when you find one. (Above: the cave at Hug Point).

Some are true secret places and never accessible; others are hiding in plain sight.

Up on the north Oregon coast, a miles or so south of Cannon Beach, you’ll find Silver Point. These are the gorgeous viewpoints just south of town that draw hundreds a day. But below is a truly interesting hidden beach and a wild sea cave. The closest access is almost a half mile away at the very southern tip of Cannon Beach. You can’t get in there as tides are almost always too dangerous, although extreme low tide events coupled with seriously high sand levels of summer may on really rare occasions allow a little exploration. Mostly, you’ll have to gaze at it from afar.

Tiffany Boothe of Seaside Aquarium did manage to get in there once and provided this amazing interior shot – a truly untouched seashore.

A little farther south of that is Hug Point (at top). A waterfall, several little caves and a raised, cave-like tide pool are all just a precursor to one of the coast's most fascinating spots. The highlight is that always-engaging remnant of a road going around the rocky point. But wait, there’s more.


As you first enter this eye-popping beach, you'll spot the waterfall immediately to the north of you and a large but shallow cave. Inside, it's mostly debris and cobblestones, but there are strangely shaped cracks and shapes meandering into its far end. You can really only take a few steps inside, and if you look closely you may spot one of the creepy, alien-looking insects that inhabit the large cracks.

Sometimes this point is not crossable, but about two thirds of the time it is. In such a case, you'll find another cove and another sea cave. There are more rock slabs to play around on, many of which are surrounded by rich tidepools.

This cave – over by the remnants of the ancient road – is one of the longest on the whole of the Oregon coast, allowing you to go back about 30 feet or so. All kinds of weird colors inhabit these walls, a combination of geology and interaction with the scrubbing, scraping tide. At the center are some twisting, angular columns of rock with massive logs jammed in there. That’s the creepy part: realizing how savagely the tides swirl around in there.

Along the Three Capes Tour there’s the tiny town of Oceanside and the tunnel going through Maxwell Point. It’s a manmade cave, really, and kind of spooky to walk through. On the other side you emerge to this somewhat hidden beach that’s often nicknamed Star Trek Beach. At its very end, about a quarter mile down, is a rather large sea cave – a true yawning chasm in the rock. It may well be the largest on these shores. There’s not much too it: it’s just a big hole, but it is awesome.


At Cape Kiwanda there’s a hint of a sea cave and one at Lincoln City where you’re not allowed to go, but nothing else really through Lincoln County until you get just past Yachats at Neptune State Scenic Viewpoint’s southern entrance (there are two: this one is the well marked one). On the northern side of Cummins Creek, you’ll find a small cave filled with wild colors and surrounded by curious holes. It’s a trippy little place.

Just south of there is the gigantic secret of Lane County: Preacher’s Cave, sometimes called Hippie Cave. This is a truly weird place with a somewhat sordid history of a cult leader taking refuge there. More on that in a future Oregon Coast Beach Connection article.


At Bob Creek, just south of Neptune, you’ll find a fairly tall but shallow cave lurking at the very southern end of the beach. If sand levels are high, it almost doesn’t exist.


The final kooky cave of the coastline’s upper half is at Heceta Head right below the lighthouse. Normally, you can’t even see it as the seas are too wild to get near, but on rare occasions you can walk out a ways and actually see that there is one. Extremely rare tidal events have allowed people entrance – briefly – but even then it’s too dangerous. Oregon Coast Hotels for this event - Where to eat - Map - Virtual Tour

 


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