The Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area is located just north of Newport, Oregon. The land jets out due west nearly a mile into the Pacific Ocean and offers a tour of Oregon’s tallest lighthouse, tide pools to explore and an interpretive center to learn more about the area.
Tidepooling before the Yaquina Head Lighthouse opened. You’re allowed to touch but you can’t take anything home with you.
Taking a close look at a starfish securely attached to a rock. Don’t prey them loose or you can damage these beautiful creatures.
Cobble Beach: Walking down to the tide pools requires descending several sets of stairs and walking across these tricky to maneuver rocks. It’s a good idea not to wear sandles or flip-flops on this trip.
The view to the north of Yaquina Head. Lava flow from Eastern Oregon created this narrow landmass stretching nearly one mile out into the Pacific Ocean.
Oil Room: Inside the Yaquina Head Lighthouse you can tour the different rooms. The oil room and four large drums that could hold up to 100 gallons each. Now that’s a lot of oil!
114 Stairs: Another reason not to bring flip-flops on this trip… The 114 stairs to the top of the lighthouse was worth the climb. Children need to be at least 42″ to accompany you so plan ahead. A couple parents took turns taking a peak at the top while the other one watched the little one’s below. The friendly staff provided interesting information about the history of the lighthouse.
Fresnel Lens: Once you make it to the top, another seven stairs take you into the fresnel lens. These lenses were made in France and found their way on the Oregon Coast in the late 1800′s. Without the lens, light would be sent in all directions instead of providing it 18 plus miles out to sea.
Interpretive Center: Learning all about lighthouses, wildlife and history at the Interpretive Center. We loved all the different exhibits and all the information they provided. We are glad we stopped in and ended up walking around for about a half-hour. Good for all ages.
The theater inside the Interpretive Center started you off in the boots of sailors a hundred years ago. You really had an appreciation for the lighthouse after watching this short clip. The video then educated you on the surrounding wildlife and had some incredible video footage of the lighthouse and coastline.
Quarry Cove: Before leaving we stopped at Quarry Cove and had a quick look around. The tide was up so we didn’t get to walk around much. When I visited this place nearly 10 years ago a walking path went out into the water. Now the sand has covered much of the walkway but still provides a nice view of the cove and offers some close-up opportunities to wildlife. Much better than the quarry that use to be here over 20 years ago.
We spent about four hours at the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area and loved every minute of it. We later went on to explore a few other attractions in Newport, Oregon before calling it a day.