by Jeff Goulden
Oregon has one of the most beautiful and unspoiled stretches of coastline in the United States. Oregon's Pacific Coast extends 363 miles from the Columbia River to the California border. The 1967 Oregon Beach Bill declared that the people of Oregon own all land within sixteen vertical feet of the average low tide. This law guarantees that the public has free and uninterrupted use of the beaches along the entire Oregon coastline.
The Oregon Coast is a series of long sandy beaches interrupted by headlands jutting out into the Pacific. The coastline has basalt cliffs, rock stacks, numerous tide pools, 11 historic lighthouses and an amazing variety of wildlife. You may see colonies of sea lions lounging on the rocks and varieties of birds and other wildlife too numerous to mention. At every turn in the road, rock formations jut out of the ocean. As if this weren't enough, nature puts on her most glorious show of all at sunset. The Oregon coast is indeed a magnificent place.
Three of my favorite places on the Oregon Coast are Cannon Beach, Heceta Head and Yaquina Head.
Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach may be the most iconic and often photographed feature on the Oregon Coast. The basalt monolith stands 237 feet above the beach and its tide pools are home to a wide variety of sea life. The rock is also a nesting and gathering site for puffins, terns and many other seabirds.
Heceta Head Lighthouse is perched 150 feet above the Pacific Ocean on a rugged and heavily wooded headland just north of the town of Florence. It is one of the most visited lighthouses in the United States drawing thousands of visitors each year. Although you can get very close to the lighthouse and keepers cottage, the best views are from a pullout on Highway 101 less than a mile south of the lighthouse.
Yaquina Head is on a mile long penninsula north of the town of Newport. The scenic area has been designated as a National Outstanding Natural Area and is managed by the US Bureau of Land Management. Standing 93 feet tall at the westernmost point of the basalt headland, the Yaquina Head Lighthouse has been guiding ships along the Oregon Coast since the light was first lit on August 20, 1873.
The offshore rocks and islands are a refuge for harbor seals and a spring-summer nesting place for thousands of seabirds. Gray whales can be spotted during their annual migration between Mexico and Alaska.
Cobble Beach below the lighthouse is scattered with millions of large and small cobble-like rocks. When the tide is low the ocean floor reveals pools of colorful animals including sea stars, sea urchins, and giant anemones.
Check out Best Beaches in Oregon to find out more about the Oregon Coast.
To see more Oregon Coast pictures go to my Oregon Coast Gallery on Istockphoto. Signed fine art prints from many of my photographs are available for purchase on Fine Art America. For special offers and to follow my photographic journey please Join My Email List.
Jeff's Photo Blog
In this Photo Blog I have combined my 50 year passion for photography and my love of the natural world, creating a portfolio that reveals nature in its pure and simple beauty. I am pleased to share my passion with you through this blog.