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Remarkable Oregon Coast Changes: the Eating and the Fattening of Stonefield Beach State Wayside

Published 05/26/2018 at 4:45 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection Staff

Remarkable Oregon Coast Changes: the Eating and the Fattening of Stonefield Beach State Wayside

(Yachats, Oregon) - Between Yachats and Florence, the beaches are wild and untouched. Even on busy weekends, it’s not too hard to find a beach on this part of the central Oregon coast where solitude rules the day. Somewhere halfway between the two towns, Ten Mile Creek provides two interesting beaches – one of them quite hidden.

It’s all a part of Stonefield Beach State Wayside, a slightly secret beach spot with a face that can change drastically at times.


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On the northern side of the creek and the famed bridge lies a beach that’s unreachable except by a small hike through uncomfortable brush, giving way to about a mile of seriously hidden sands and stones that is inaccessible anywhere else along that stretch. The path takes you on a long, winding walk through brush, eventually giving way to a more manicured, grassy area, snaking past a wildly innovative example of architecture that looks like a giant Rubik’s Cube twisted at odd angles. This was once a BnB called The Ziggurat – it still is in operation in some manner, but now as an Air BnB lodging. Along this pastoral pathway there’s an ornate bench, set up to view the stream and the breakers all at once.

Down on this half of the beach, there are bubbly basalt structures dotting the landscape, while the nearby creek gurgles away, deceptively quiet for all the power within it. You can’t usually cross it to reach the southern side. On this rather hidden beach, the basalt structures change in height and configuration with the sand levels and the tide, while during more frothy, stormy times of the year, they can appear more craggy and sharp-edged.


Each year is another landscape here, with different amounts of storm-strewn logs changing the look even more drastically than the basalt stones.

On the southern side, reachable via an easy access and a small road to the parking lot, it’s all sand. Usually soft sands, too, but seasons can shift that in insane ways. In the winter, the beach in this section is more concave and lower, and the pleasant sands have given way to more gravel beds and sharper edges. This also means more agates, too.

The most marked change is the difference between winter and summer, when sand levels vacillate from one extreme to the other. In summer the beach is wider but the stony basalts have almost disappeared. In winter, storms dredge out sand and turn the place inside out at times.

It’s not uncommon for Stonefield Beach State Wayside to get shut down in mid-winter, as those infamous Oregon coast storms will not only smother the parking lot with debris but they heave logs and other stuff a little ways up the access road.

Storms even dig up the parking lot and eat parts of the concrete away along with the seemingly sturdy foredunes. Impressive and more than a little sobering.


Ten Mile Creek and the accesses to Stonefield Beach State Wayside are about seven miles south of Yachats, at around Milepost 172. Where to stay in this area - Where to eat - Maps and Virtual Tours

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