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Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area

Northern Oregon Coast, Oregon

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Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area

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  • View of the tide pools and Yaquina Head Lighthouse.- Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area
  • View looking south from Yaquina Head State Natural Area.- Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area
  • A common murre (Uria aalge) trying to make a landing.- Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area
  • Colony of harbor seals (Phoca vitulina).- Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area
  • Harbor seals (Phoca vitulina).- Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area
  • Tide pools at Yaquina Head State Natural Area.- Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area
  • Purple sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus).- Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area
  • Purple sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus).- Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area
  • Tide pools at Yaquina Head State Natural Area.- Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area
  • Tide pools at Yaquina Head State Natural Area.- Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area
  • Giant green anemone (Anthopleura xanthogrammica).- Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area
  • Tide pools at Yaquina Head State Natural Area.- Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area
  • Looking south from tide pools.- Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area
  • Branching coralline algae (Calliarthron).- Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area
  • Tide pools at Yaquina Head State Natural Area.- Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area
  • Tide pools at Yaquina Head State Natural Area.- Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Some of Oregon best tide pools. Seals. Historic lighthouse.
Cons: 
Heavy use year round.
Region:
Northern Oregon Coast, OR
Congestion: 
High
Location type: 
Pebbly beach
Rocky shore
Parking Pass: 
General Day Use Fee
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Contributor

Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area is a concentration of cultural and natural treasures not easily rivaled.  It is a year-round bird watcher's paradise, a home to some of the most vibrant and dense tidal pools on the entire coast, and a hangout for harbor seals, sea lions, and even the occasional gray whale.

Further, Oregon’s tallest and second oldest lighthouse remains rooted and reaching high on this grassy headland.  The lighthouse has been operational since its construction in 1872 and continues to guide mariners along the coast today.  Now managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the lighthouse is not only operational, but it is also protected and valued for education and research.  In their work on the site, for example, Heritage Research Associates from Eugene found archaeological evidence that the land was home to a Native American village for about 1,200 years before it was abandoned about 2,000 years ago. 

In addition to the lighthouse, explore the park by taking one (or several) of the walking trails to a grassy vantage point or a Sitka spruce forest.  A visit to Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area is not complete, however, without spending some time exploring the tide pools of Quarry Cove and Cobble Beach.  You’ll see an abundance of sea stars, giant green anemones, purple sea urchins, mussels, barnacles, and hermit crabs, among other inter-tidal dwellers.  Off shore, adult harbor seals and barking sea lions can be seen year round.  Outstanding indeed! 

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(5 within a 30 mile radius)

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(47 within a 30 mile radius)

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Published in collaboration with The People's Coast

A profound concept originally envisioned by governor Oswald West, in 1967 the Oregon legislature ultimately realized his vision of making the entire Oregon Coast forever open to the public in a piece of landmark legislation titled the Oregon Beach Bill, officially making all 363 miles public land. "The People's Coast" is truly a one-of-a-kind coastline, a unique blend of mountains and rocky stacks, towering old growth forests, marine sanctuaries, tide pools and kelp forests, charming towns, historic fishing communities, world-class golfing, breweries, and simply jaw-dropping scenic beaches. We encourage you to plan your next trip at visittheoregoncoast.com or by calling (541) 574-2679.

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