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Views to a Thrill: One Oregon Coast Spot Soars to New Angles, Dizzy Heights

Published 11/10/22 at 5:39 AM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Views to a Thrill: One Oregon Coast Spot Soars to New Angles, Dizzy Heights

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(Yachats, Oregon) – Just a wee bit north of the Lane County line and a tad south of the cozy central Oregon coast burgh of Yachats, the idea of getting high takes on dramatic new dimensions. A singular mountain of sorts soars upwards and yields a wild new take on familiar surroundings, bursting at the seams with layers of surprises, one after another. (All photos Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

It really is all a matter of viewpoint from Cape Perpetua, the now long-deceased volcano that created much of the basalt you currently see in the area, all the way down to Florence's Heceta Head and Sea Lion Caves. The 800-foot-high place creates a whole new way to look at things. And it's all breathtaking, even heady.

Starting at its lower elevation big attraction, the Devil's Churn creates a centerpiece to all the action. From the parking lot, you descend over one hundred feet down a long, meandering staircase, bringing you to the tidal melee that often occupies this great crevice cut into the 36-million-year-old rock. As you wander down, it looks like this.

However, look at it from the top of Cape Perpetua, and you see the scope of the whole thing. Looking a little like a bent and twisted Great Wall of China from the air, the bird's eye view makes it look more daunting than it really is.

Not far from the cape, one of the more spectacular spouting horns on the whole of the Oregon coast fires off with a wacky hissing noise at Cook's Chasm. Of course, next to that is famed Thor's Well.

Much of this area hosts a bundle of marine gardens: rocky shelves with an abundance of tidepools. Near the entrance to the marine gardens section – which includes a wheelchair-accessible platform – a tunnel under Highway 101 leads off to hiking trails going up the cape.

Closer to Cook's Chasm, the castle-looking viewing platform and the bridge over the chasm provide wondrous viewpoints to the manic spouting horn action below.

Now, look at it from the top of the cape. It's like an aerial view, to be sure.

Next to Cape Perpetua is a curious little beach called Cape Cove, sitting on the southern face of the cape. It's a wonder because it doesn't exist about half the time. This area is literally underwater a good portion of the year. Come summertime and other calmer conditions, you can wander the beach safely. But it's one of those really unique places that has a crazed, unruly side and mind of its own, with little regard for the lives or comfort of Oregon coast visitors.

At the Cape Perpetua Visitor, a ways up the summit, the views are astounding in themselves. However, from the top of Cape Perpetua, you can look down on the center – and even the beach known as Cape Cove. In this sequence it's unusually wide and safe to wander.

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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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