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A Ride of Random Loveliness: Oregon Coast Stretch Perfect In All Weather

Published 10/21/2018 at 5:54 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection Staff

A Ride of Random Loveliness: Oregon Coast Stretch Perfect In All Weather

(Yachats, Oregon) – There are times when – ahem – the weather does not cooperate on the Oregon coast.

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One sure bet for foul weather fun is a good car ride – just a small jaunt via horseless carriage down a stretch of Highway 101. A host of incredible viewpoints lie just south of Yachats, where you can zip down the road with your view of the beaches largely unimpeded by trees. Along this great beachy way are perhaps a dozen little gravel pullouts, where you can enjoy the scenic wonders from behind the dryness of your rain-soaked windshields. Or in the case of sunnier times, these beaches hold many rewards when explored. (See full info on the Upper Lane County stretch at the virtual tour).

All this is especially perfect for storm watching too as these gravel pullouts are usually not very far above the chaotic breakers. You can not only watch the watery melee from safety but it’s a great seat in the house.

Then, if the weather does clear up suddenly – as it’s wont to do along the Oregon coast – you can dart out and do a little wandering before the next squall comes in.

From the southern end of Yachats to Florence it’s about 25 miles, and along the way there are loads of incredible sights in any weather. You start out at the southern end of Yachats and soon find the towering pullout near Cape Perpetua, where you can look down and then beyond the rocky shoreline to what seems like forever.

About another mile or so away and you’ve rounded the bend to Cape Perpetua and the Devil’s Churn. Head up the winding road to the top of Perpetua and you get some astounding views en route as well as at the top, a vantage point some 600 feet above it all.

South of there you have the paved pullout of Cook’s Chasm and the fiery water pyrotechnics of this incredible place. The waves hit these rocks with frightening ferocity at times – so stay off them. Thor’s Well is here and far too many have had either close encounters or actually been killed here trying to get a good shot of the big, watery hole.


Besides, the best part of Cook’s Chasm is the spouting horn, which makes a bizarre hissing noise as it fires water up into the air. If you position your car just right, you can watch this through the open section of railing in the parking lot – if things are too stormy to head outside.

At this point you’ve entered Lane County and just left Lincoln County. From here, the road is straighter most of the time and it allows you to take in the scenery better if you’re in the driver’s seat.

You catch sight of the northern part of Neptune State Scenic Viewpoint and its various rocky slabs. The southern access is a mere blip of a sight as you zip over the bridge, but the parking lot (the southern side is more clearly marked as Neptune) offers inspiring beach scenes from your car.

Strawberry Hill’s wild wonders are not visible from the road as much as they are from the slightly hidden parking lot of the state park.

Next up: the cobblestone surrealism of Bob Creek Wayside, where at low tide, weird mushroom-like rocks emerge that are covered with crusty marine life and starfish. Directly above the park is a stunning pullout that shows off all sorts of things from an aerial perspective – called Bray’s Point.

Stonefield Beach has a quaint parking lot from which to watch the waves, and then another wondrous pullout happens about milepost 173, called Tokatee Klootchman.

At Rock Creek Campground and Roosevelt Beach, there's sand and small sea stacks, with a patch of basalt that cradles an idyllic, babbling brook. A bit south of there, spots like Muriel O. Ponsler Wayside are all sand, and it's about where the landscape flattens out to seemingly endless beaches.

Just north of Florence, you'll hit the incredible views near Heceta Head Lighthouse and Sea Lion Caves, where a myriad of pullouts allow you to gaze in awe at the wildlife covered cliffs and dramatic waves slamming into bulging structures at the bottom. Lodgings in Yachats - Where to eat - Maps and Virtual Tours

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