I am blessed that I have been able to work during the pandemic, and we did take some short road trips, but now I am fully vaccinated, and really wanted to check the Oregon Coast off my bucket list.
Yachats, Oregon is super dog friendly! There is so much to do: casual walks along the OCEAN, tons of beaches to play fetch on or walk for MILES, wonderful hikes of all levels amongst old growth trees, spruce, fern, and moss, and even light house walks.
Before I get to our many activities, let me tell about the place we stayed…and it’s incredible view! We were trying to stay at the Fireside Motel, but they were booked up, the Fireside is right on the Ocean, and right on the 804 trail. We ended up at Ocean Cove Inn which is less than a mile from the Fireside, and honestly, I’m so glad we did, not only do I like the view of the river and ocean better, Ocean Cove is more sheltered…which is wonderful for sitting on the big deck in April, avoiding much of the wind.
We mainly did these 4 things on Day 1, Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Area, Devil’s Churn, Giant Spruce Trail, partial 804 Trail to Tilicum beach. While many areas on the coast are free, some of these had fees, but you pay $5 for the State Park Pass, and can use it all day. I think the same for the US Forest Pass.
Heceta Head Lighthouse S.S.V
The beach at Heceta Head Lighthouse, is small but gorgeous and tempting, but we made ourselves do the half mile trek up to the Lighthouse first. It is all uphill, but its not too bad.
First you’ll pass the Assistant Light Keeper’s residence which is a B&B now.
I was told by a volunteer that the Head Light Keeper house was sold by the government in the early 1900s for $10, and the man who bought it dismantled it and sold the lumber piece by piece. Too bad they can’t make a replica. Photo of it below on info panel.
At the top behind the light house, you can access more trails, some that go all the way to Washburne State Park
The views from around the Lighthouse are amazing, I didn’t get photos of those, but here is the Lighthouse.
We went back down, and walked to the water, near the Cape Creek Bridge first.
Interesting tidbit, in the old days, people were against this bridge being built because the water is only knee deep…I guess back then people were used to traveling on the beaches when the tide was low, 101 wasn’t even paved yet, but it ties all these communities together, can’t imagine not having the 101 today.
On the area under the light house are some caves and rocks you can scramble around on.
I was looking for a place to have lunch, and chose this out the many areas that you can turn off of on 101. This is a paved walking loop, with a trail that goes off to Cape Cove Beach, also you can take this spur all the way up to the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center Area, the beach is small, but sheltered and had dogs playing there 😀
We found a bench with a view for lunch. I wish I got more photos of this area, there were some incredible views. But I guess I was saving it for the Giant Spruce.
Giant Spruce Trail
This is an easy mostly flat out and back trail that is about 2 miles total if you pick it up next to the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center. This trail runs inland from the coast and is next to a creek, and is lined with ferns and trees. There is a campground on the other side of the creek, but there is enough shrubbery for some seclusion. There are also cute little foot bridges, and the trail intersects with other trails if you want to extend your hike.
The tree is really amazing, but no way for me to capture the whole tree in a photo. There is a nook off to the side near the creek as well.
There are a few trails to explore in the Cape Perpetua Area, and maybe we will go back tomorrow. The map below shows other trails as well as how close it is to Devil’s Churn.
804 Trail to Tilicum Beach
We parked at Smelt Sands State Park, not knowing what to expect, and wow, what an awesome dirt walking path. Yes, there are condos and hotels one side, but this ocean is rugid and beautiful, in some places you are just a bit higher than the ocean, and can feel the mist of waves pounding on the rocks.
There are also shady arches to walk through, which are thick enough to give some respite from the wind.
And about .9 miles we got to the beach, you can walk 7 miles on the beach to Waldport, my kegs hurt just thinking if that lol. We just wanted to play fetch.
This was a great way to end our Day. And yes, Chico insisted on carrying his ball all the way back to the car😀.