Central Oregon Coast: Seal Rock State Park & Cape Perpetua

Day 30 (August 29)
Central Oregon Coast – Seal Rock State Park & Cape Perpetua Scenic Area.

Misty windswept seaside forests. A rocky beach full of mysterious white pods. Giant ancient trees. A myriad of coastal rainforest plants.  We’ve many wonders to experience en route to Coos Bay today.

Tree-lined path to beach at Seal Rock State Park Oregon Coast Highway

A lush wooded path to the the beach leads us down to the water. We are drawn in by this magical place…

Tide pools at Seal Rock State Park Oregon Coast Highway

It’s low tide when we arrive at Seal Rock State Park.

Low tide at Seal Rock State Park Oregon Coast Highway

I cannot pinpoint specifically why this particular area speaks to me, yet Seal Rock ends up being one of my favorite beaches among the dozens that we will see in the Pacific Northwest.

Low tide at Seal Rock State Park Oregon Highway 101

The beach is covered with these little milky white capsules. Some googling brings us to conclude perhaps these are squid eggs sacs?

Elephant Rock and Squid egg sacs at Seal Rock State Park Oregon Coast

Squid egg sac at Seal Rock State Park

Continuing south on the Oregon Coast Highway, we reach the Alsea Bay Bridge near Waldport.

Alsea Bay Bridge Oregon Coast Highway 101

Although this bridge is a 1990’s replacement, the original was yet another of the Highway 101 bridges designed by Conde McCullough, and some of the original architectural features still stand.

Original Conde McCullough architecture Alsea Bay Bridge Oregon

Original Conde McCullough architecture - Alsea Bay Bridge Oregon Cost Highway 101

Continuing south, we reach Cape Perpetua Scenic Area in Suislaw National Forest. This is a strikingly beautiful area of tide pools, churns, spouting horns, coastal forests and ocean vistas.

Giant Sitka Spruce at Cape Perpetua Scenic Area

A two mile round-trip hike brings one to a giant 600-year old Sitka Spruce, deemed a “heritage tree”.

Wildflowers at Cape Perpetua Scenic Area Oregon Coast Highway

The diversity of plant life here is remarkable.

Coastal Rock Plant Cape Perpetua Scenic Area

Fantastic coastal rock formations include Cook’s Chasm, the Spouting Horn, Thor’s Well and Devil’s Churn. We are quite lucky to be on the coast right at high tide to experience the latter three in their full glory.

Thor's Well at Cape Perpetua Scenic Area Oregon Coast Highway 101

Take care in this area – sneaker waves can be deadly.

Bridge at Cook's Chasm Cape Perpetua Scenic Area Oregon Coast Highway 101

Marsi's favorite gear: REI Co-op Drypoint GTX Jacket

Bonus points: The little coffee window at the Devil’s Churn information station serves awesome espresso and makes a mean Mexican chocolate mocha. Good coffee is literally everywhere in the Pacific Northwest!

Cape Perpetua Scenic Area Oregon Coast Highway 101

A ranger at the Cape Perpetua visitor center mentions that the blackberry bushes growing here are a non-native weed species, and encourages us to pick as many as we’d like. We happily abide, and come away with 1/2 Nalgene bottle full of plump delicious blackberries.

Non-native Blackberries picked at Cape Perpetua Scenic Area

We’ve just one more day driving south before turning north again to make it to Portland for Labor Day weekend. How naive I was to think that we could see the length of the Oregon Coast in 6 days!

You can catch up on all of our Oregon travels here.

5 Replies to “Central Oregon Coast: Seal Rock State Park & Cape Perpetua”

    1. The Oregon Coast really is amazing! I hope to get back there in the next couple of years to see the southern 1/3 of the Oregon coast that we didn’t have time to travel. I hear it’s a less heavily traveled and really pristine.

      Liked by 1 person

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