The wonders of Cape Perpetua, coast of Oregon

photo by Orion Tippens

I want to go back.

To Cape Perpetua, south of Yachats, of the Oregon Coast.

I was there for about one hour. That was not enough two summers ago, last since exploring its beautiful scenery. I could love so much, during my break from a southbound day drive to Eureka in Northern California, from Tillamook, Oregon.

The distant scenery is beautiful, especially up high through various lookout points. This is the very best of the Oregon Coast, of which I have seen so far. I plan to eventually witness the giant sea lion caves and Cannon Beach in time. The Oregon coast is amazing. But, I think Cape Perpetua represents the accessible U.S.Pacific Coast at its raw, most powerful, and a bit dangerous.

Come closer, go down a few trails. Do some exploring, and watch your step over the shore rocks. There are many slippery areas, tide pools, deep holes. Some rocky areas extend far out, and more visible during low tides.The high tides can be violent, crashing, surprising, warning you to stay back. If here, study your maps, know the tides, and be careful. With patience, you will find some amazing and unique wonders.


Devil’s Churn

Cape Perpetua Devil's Churn

Here, a large deep crack accessible via a short, curvy forest trail. You can walk the edge if careful, watching every step, and walk slowly. If you find your way down, it’s best to find a good spot in the back area, and gaze at the incoming ocean motion. Watch the water fill and retract in constant repetition. During the high tide, the waves can be intense in their crashing. The video below better captures that excitement.

Thor’s Well

Memorizing, boggling is this nature-made well. The timing of the tides must be perfect, otherwise, it’s too dangerous or too calm to witness its full effect. Away from the shore among the scatters of rocks, you will find this strange hole in the ground. The water seeps in, fills up, spits out, and then sucks back in the nothing. Sadly, my timing was off and missed out. There are pictures online, mostly a bit unreal; the stuff of strange fantasy. Watch this found video clip:

Cook’s Chasm


Similar to Devil’s Chasm, and below a bridge. I missed this place but learned of something that makes this very worthwhile; a spouting horn to the side. What is a spouting horn? I can’t find much on the physics of a spouting horn. I assume it’s some pressure within the rocks, push forth by the crashing waves. Here is another video found:

There are many tide pools, sand dunes, and nature trails. There is a stunning vista point overlooking Yachats, an old stone observation building lookout shelter, and a lighthouse; all of which I missed. The inland area is also interesting, full of dense forest and lakes. There is definitively more to see and discover on your own.

I will be back.

For more information on Cape Perpetua and the surrounding area, click here.