The Oregon Coast has a boat load of natural beauty and Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area is no exception.
Located just 15 miles South of Depoe Bay, the area includes a Lighthouse which has been in use since 1873. It is perched on the very tip of Yaquina Head – a windswept spur of land that boldly juts a mile out into the Pacific Ocean. Tours of the 93 foot high structure are available 12pm to 4pm Thursday to Tuesday. Space is limited – make sure to get your tour pass at the interpretive center as early as possible.
Just to the South of the Lighthouse, is a small cove featuring “Cobblestone Beach.” As it weathers, parts of the cove’s basalt cliff face fall down into the water below and are polished by the waves. The result is a beach of black cobbles. The sound the tide makes as it washes in, out, over, around and through these cobble stones is unique and relaxing.
The beach is open during the day and is staffed by volunteers ready to answer questions. The tide pools are excellent – plan to arrive just before low tide to take full advantage as they are almost covered within a few hours. A variety of sea birds call the cove home including Cormorants and Pelicans, making it an excellent bird watching area. The Harbor Seals also put on quite an adorable show. The mature seals are content to recline on the rocks, but the younger ones are especially curious and will venture close to the beach when there is a crowd. Each of the dark spots that pops out of the water is a seal giving us their undivided attention. One even did a somersault – look closely and you might be able to see it!
Cobblestone Beach is now one of my favorite places to visit on the Oregon Coast. I’d love to hear about your favorites!