Motors Allowed?
Difficult / Class C
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As a UNESCO biosphere reserve, Cascade Head is one of Oregon's most iconic headlands. However, most people are surprised to learn that below the weight of this massive basalt outcropping sits Oregon's longest sea cave. Unlike the majority of visitors who explore Cascade Head by trail, the arches and sea caves beneath the head are accessible only by sea kayak.

Departing from Knight Park on the north bank of the Salmon River, it is a roughly 1.1-mile paddle to the often choppy mouth of the river. From there it is only an additional 0.4 miles to the Cascade Head Sea Cave. Two Arches and countless other smaller stacks lie en route to Harts Cove, an additional 2.1 miles to the north, where Chitwood Creek plummets roughly 50 feet into the Pacific Ocean.

Cascade Head is part of the Cascade Head Marine Reserve and Marine Protected Areas. This means that there are specific prohibitions against fishing and the harvesting of fish, invertebrates, and seaweed. Check here for specific clarifications on regulations, exemptions, and a detailed representation of the area's boundaries.

Safety Note

Be sure to visit as the tide is going out. Do NOT enter cave during incoming tide! Outgoing tide will make passing the Salmon River bar much less tumultuous, and it will make entering the caves much safer. Check local tide tables before departure.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

General Day Use Fee


Oregon's longest sea cave.


Rough waves at the mouth of the Salmon River.

Water Temperature

32.00 °F (0.00 °C)


Whale watching
Bird watching

Typically multi-day


Shuttle required


Site characteristics: Water


Portage required



Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping


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