2 day Road Trip on the Oregon Coast Trail

The Oregon Coast trail is known as one of the must do routes in the USA. It can either be done a long distance trail along the pacific coast. The official coastal guide states the trail is 382 miles in length (615 km) About 39 percent of the route is on the beach, 41 percent is on paved road, and 20 percent is on trail and dirt roads.  If you don’t have time to hike the trail, another option is to drive Highway 101 to see the the stunning views of the beautiful Oregon Coast line and the Pacific Ocean. We opted for the Road Trip and these are some of my recommended points of interest for a 2 day it itinerary.

Points of Interest

Lewis & Clark National Historic Park

Ecola State Park

Cannon Beach

Devils Cauldron

Lincoln City

Boiler Bay State Park

Newport

After landing in Seattle and staying overnight, we left at breakfast and headed to Oregon. It was a quiet Sunday morning as we drove along I-5 and headed to Astoria. This was our second time in Seattle and we had learnt the hard way that picking a quiet time of day to travel is crucial with avoiding the heavy traffic of Seattle.

Lewis & Clark National Historical Park

3 hours from Seattle the the first stop is at the Lewis & Clark National Historical Park which commemorates the Lewis & Clark expedition between 1804 to 1806. The park includes points of interest along the Columbia River and the Pacific Coast in Oregon and Washington, where the explorers encountered diverse landscapes, wildlife, and native peoples. Some of the sights to see in the park are:

Fort Clatsop

Salt Works

Station Camp/Middle Village

Fort Clatsop
Fort Clatsop and the Lewis & Clark Historic Park

We were on a short stop and chose to visit Fort Clatsop which was an interesting replica of the fort where the expedition spent the winter of 1805-1806. The fort has exhibits, demonstrations, and ranger programs that tell the story of the expedition’s challenges and achievements. If you have sufficient time it is possible to hike the Fort to Sea Trail, which connects the fort with the ocean.

Ecola State Park

Ecola State Park
Ecola State Park

The second stop is Ecola State Park. This is where some of the Lewis and Clark expedition hiked over rugged terrain to see a beached whale in January 1806. Interestingly, the name Ecola comes from the Chinook word “ekoli”, which means “whale”. The park has beautiful views of the coast, 8 miles of hiking trails, and beaches.

Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach
Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach is a beautiful beach just south of Ecola State Park which famous for its iconic Haystack Rock, a 235 ft (72 m) sea stack and is one of the world’s 100 most beautiful places, according to National Geographic.

Haystack Rock
Overlooking Cannon Beach & Hatstack Rock

Devils Cauldron

We next stopped at Oswald West State Park to follow a short 0.5 mile out and back trail to the Devils Cauldron. The trail starts from the parking lot, which is quite steep and rocky, but worth the effort. 

On arrival at the viewpoint, you will observe the Devils Cauldron which is a stunning natural feature on the Oregon coast, where the waves crash and foam against the rocky cliffs and islands, into an inlet. The Devils Cauldron is named after the turbulent water that swirls around the sea stacks, especially Cube Rock, which is a large square-shaped rock that stands out from the rest. 

Lincoln City

I would recommend staying in Lincoln City overnight, we stayed at the Surfland Hotel which is a beachfront hotel with Kitchenette facilities and continuing travelling south along the Oregon Coast on the second day.

Boiler Bay State Park

Boiler Bay State Park is a scenic park on the Oregon coast. It is named about the remains of a ship’s boiler than can be seen at low tide. The boiler is from a freighter called J Marhoffer which exploded and sank off the coast in 1910. We visited during high tide, so weren’t able to see this, however here is a picture credits:xxxx for reference. 

This park again offers amazing views of the ocean with the opportunity to  view wildlife including seabirds, sea lions and sea life in the tide pools. 

Devils Punchbowl

Whilst travelling South down the Oregon Coast, be sure to stop off at Rocky Creek and Otter Crest Viewpoint. Both again offer amazing view points and the opportunity for walking trails. Rocky Creek has a little costal stream you can visit whilst Otter Creek Viewpoint is great to stop off for a picnic whilst taking in the panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. 

You may also see the  Devil’s Punchbowl which is a nature large bowl-shaped rock formation that fills with seawater and creates a swirling effect. The Devil’s Punchbowl Arch located at the entrance of the Devil’s Punchbowl, a large bowl-shaped cavity in the sandstone bluffs of Otter Rock that was formed by the collapse of two sea caves. The arch can be explored from the bottom at very low tides. The arch offers a view of the churning water inside the bowl,

Devils Punchbowl Arch
Devils Cauldron Arch

Yaquinia Head

Yaquina Head is an area of outstanding natural beauty and a wonderful 9 acre state park in Lincoln County. Providing views of the sea, a lighthouse and the opportunity to view wildlife from the whale watching platform. 

Yaquina Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse in Oregon, standing at 23 Metres (93 feet) tall. Yaguina is a great place to view wildlife and we were lucky enough to see harbour seals on the rocks and in the sea during our visit.

Newport

A must see are the Newport Seal lion which can be viewed at Newport Bay Front at dock one. This free attraction draws both tourists and locals, with Seal Lions as they are easy to hear, smell and view on the rocks close or swimming in the water close to the dock. The Sea Lions can be viewed all year around, EXCEPT July – which is known as the quiet month. It is this month they they migrate to mate at the local Channel Islands. 

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