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When a Stormwatch Brews: Vantage Points to View the Gnarly Oregon Coast - Video (Part 1)

Published 11/08/23 a 4:35 p.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

(Oregon Coast) - It's likely no other rock song captured the imagery of an ocean storm better than that line from "Dun Ringill," by Jethro Tull lead singer Ian Anderson. And while it was written about some place in Scotland, it's not hard to imagine Anderson could've had Oregon's rustic, moody coast in mind. (Above: Shore Acres, courtesy Oregon's Adventure Coast)

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"Lines drawn in faint discord
As the stormwatch brews
A concert of kings
As the white sea snaps
At the heels of a soft prayer
Whispered" - Jethro Tull, 1982

That's the season we're heading into now, with our own angry sea snapping and clawing magnificently at the Oregon coast on a regular basis. Yet when those tides get big – like 30-foot seas coming up – then it's time to run for the higher ground.

Luckily, there's tons of safe spots to watch even the gnarliest of deadly wave action. So, get ready for an oceanic Jerry Springer Show and dig into part one of this two-parter on Stormwatch Oregon Coast. As a Stormwatch Brews, Part Two of Oregon Coast Viewing Hotspots

Boiler Bay and Headland Viewpoint. Between Boiler Bay and Depoe Bay sits the small headland of Boiler Bay State Scenic Viewpoint, and the action crazy here sometimes. Here, you'll find numerous picnic tables, plenty of grassy spots and full restroom facilities that help add to the beauty and convenience on this mini-headland.

Central Oregon Coast's Boiler Bay Has Two, Maybe More Parts

There are almost three different distinct areas to this park. To its south are views towards Depoe Bay and a bundle of rocky structures that provide more than a few opportunities for large, stormy waves to crash upon and make an enormous spectacle.

Straight out to sea, there's that fenced area, which gets you to the tip of the headland, and is harder to deal with when the wind is going bonkers. It may knock you around quite a bit.

To the north, there's a kind of cove-like area, with views of more rocky slabs where stormy waves do incredible acrobatic acts. Also, from here you can watch waves sail into Boiler Bay and work their wintry magic.

Even more intense views can be found at the gravel pullout immediately north of the headland and state park, but traffic makes that a bit dangerous to get into. Here, you are just above where the old boiler sits and it's a death match down there when waves get large.

Courtesy Oregon's Adventure Coast

Shore Acres, Near Coos Bay. The undisputed king of mammoth waves, this ledge – located within a quick walk of the historic mansion and grounds – produces sights you can't see anywhere else on the Oregon coast.

Waves slam against this unique typography (part of it is a rise underneath the waves) and erupt. That's frankly the only word that can be applied here. These soar some 200 feet in the air at times, towering over the cliff lookout area by a good 100 feet. See how Shore Acres waves are measured.

The bigger the storm the bigger the action, of course, but it doesn't take a large tempest to create massive walls of water. Medium-sized tidal events also charge things up.

Other south coast spectacular spots include Otter Point near Gold Beach, the southern point of Humbug Mountain, Port Orford Heads and just above Bandon's Face Rock Viewpoint (as seen in the video).

Part two here: As a Stormwatch Brews, Part Two of Oregon Coast Viewing Hotspots

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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