Stay Eat Events Weather Beaches

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

Published 11/09/23 a 6:05 a.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

(Oregon Coast) – Essentially nothing in this state is anything like a good Oregon coast storm. A dash of heavy winds and copious helpings of insane wave action – not necessarily under gray skies, either – and you have a recipe for one hell of an experience. (Above: Yachats. All photos Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

Just like part one of this series said: it's like a Jerry Springer Show for the ocean. When a Stormwatch Brews: Vantage Points to View the Gnarly Oregon Coast (Part 1)

Part two of this piece on great stormwatching spots look at Yachats, Cape Meares and some areas just south of Cannon Beach, as well as some safety warnings.

Latest Coastal Lodging News Alerts
In Seaside:
Includes exclusive listings; some specials in winter
In Cannon Beach:
Includes rentals not listed anywhere else
In Manzanita, Wheeler, Rockaway Beach:
Some specials for winter
In Pacific City, Oceanside:
Some specials for winter
In Lincoln City:
Some specials for winter
In Depoe Bay, Gleneden Beach:
Some specials for winter
In Newport:
Look for some specials
In Waldport
Some specials for winter
In Yachats, Florence
Some specials for winter
Southern Oregon Coast Hotels / Lodgings
Reedsport to Brookings, places to stay; winter deals

Cape Meares. Just west of Tillamook, this is likely one of the safest spots to catch the action on the Oregon coast, as you're some 200 feet above it all. What you'll see are enormous waves crashing into rocky headlands around you. Often, these winter storms mean you'll even see awe-inspiring waves approaching, appearing so enormous it looks as if they might even get you where you stand up here. Cape Meares Octopus Tree Complete Guide

Yachats. Really, there's not a bad view in the house here, and it doesn't take much for waves to go nutso. Aside from the small bay, the entire shoreline is made of large, craggy basalt structures, which makes for massive wave action the whole year round.

Yet it's storm season when this stretch gets downright hair-raising. Make sure you stay above the bluffs, and in larger events not even the paved path of the 804 Trail is safe. Big storms can toss major logs onto the area, and some winters turn the entire shoreline into something that looks like a devastated forest.

The road behind downtown Yachats runs along the shore, starting at the Recreation Area. The road meanders almost a mile, through residential neighborhoods, and provides remarkable views of the walloping waves. There are even some benches along here.

Also providing great views is the Devil's Churn, a few miles south of town. Along the way, there are lots of spots to watch the Pacific go crazy. But once you reach the Churn, you'll find a long crevice stretching a few hundred feet, which squeezes the ocean's mighty energy into some fierce explosions. [Devil's Churn, Foamy Waves, Yachats]

South of Cannon Beach. Amazing viewpoints abound along the 10-mile stretch between Cannon Beach and Manzanita, providing many opportunities to catch the oceanic drama while remaining safe, far away from the waves themselves. Those pullouts just south of Cannon Beach are some of the most popular, and the views are dramatic non-stop.

A few more miles down the road, between Oswald West State Park and Manzanita, you'll come to the gravel viewpoint and trailhead above Short Sands Beach (Smuggler's Cove) and the viewpoints beneath Neahkahnie Mountain. The world seems like it's opened up here, with the Pacific exploding in front of you and stretching as far as the eye can see. The turnouts are abundant on this chunk of north Oregon coast, with all sorts of interesting rocky cliff faces hovering over you from the landward side of the highway. Viewpoints Above Manzanita

The biggest pullout provides views towards the north and south - allowing you to watch waves slam into Cape Falcon to the north and attack the shores of Manzanita to the south.


With king tides coming up soon, this is evermore important.

It seems like every year someone does something just shy of common sense and gets hurt during a winter storm. Always stay away from small beaches when the storms are doing their thing. Some sandy spots, like Seaside, are broad enough to go walking on, and they can give you room to stay away from the breakers. One rule of thumb for exploring even large beaches in this weather: you need to have a good 50 feet between you and the highest wave. Otherwise, don't go near the beach and stay up high.

Whatever you do, if officials have closed off an area because of high waves, don't go beyond it. In the early 2000s, a group of stormwatchers ignored such signs near Garibaldi, and found themselves swimming in a sneaker wave - along with their vehicles. One woman was seriously injured.

Worse yet, others have died:

Astounding Video of Massive Waves; Child Missing in Surf on Oregon Coast

Updated: Two Youths Rescued from Seaside's Surf, N. Oregon Coast; One Dead

Oregon Coast Hotels for this event - South Coast Hotels - Where to eat - Maps - Virtual Tours


More About Oregon Coast hotels, lodging.....

More About Oregon Coast Restaurants, Dining.....

Coastal Spotlight

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.

LATEST Related Oregon Coast Articles

N. Oregon Coast Officials: Burning Logs on Beaches a Bad Idea
These pose still-smoldering dangers to humans and pets on the beach. Sciences, safety

SOLVE Still Seeking Volunteers for Oregon Spring Cleanup on Coast, Elsewhere
It runs through April 22 with the beach on April 20. Newport events, Lincoln City events, Pacific City events, Rockaway Beach events, events, Seaside events, Astoria events, south coast events, Florence events

Man Arrested for Showing Gun During Road Rage Incident on Central Oregon Coast
Police remind the public to take care on busy coastal roads

Video: 'Mermaid's Purse' on N. Oregon Coast Yields Life, Released Into Bay
Skate eggs found in Seaside October 2, 2023 and released this month into Netarts Bay. Marine sciences

Witnessing Oregon Coast History at Depoe Bay: What's Gone and What's Eternal
Landmarks now gone and other exceptional moments

Hatfield Marine Science Center's Marine Science Day Returns to Newport, Orego...
Science fair and open house on Saturday, April 13

Shore Acres Asks for Volunteers to Clean Up Gardens of S. Oregon Coast Icon
Every third Friday of the month the gardens need help

Delights, Surprises in the Details of Neskowin, Where N. Oregon Coast Begins
Tucked away behind a tract of forestland, not far from Pacific City

Back to Oregon Coast

Contact Advertise on Oregon Coast Beach Connection
All Content, unless otherwise attributed, copyright Oregon Coast Beach Connection. Unauthorized use or publication is not permitted