Winter is the perfect season to watch the rowdy Pacific strut its powerful awesomeness. Storms bring strong winds and turbulent seas for spray-packed ocean shows. While rain is an inherent part of the short days of the year in Oregon, on the Central Coast it is interspersed with spells of crisp, vibrant sunshine. Time it right, and you can catch an exposition of water both sparkling and tumultuous. Add an offshore breeze to the mix and two plus stories of white frothy spray tower where sea pummels land. It’s the ocean equivalent of a proud peacock on full display.

My husband and I hit just such a day on our most recent stop at Yachats Ocean Road State Natural Site. Located at the south end of Yachats, this loop drive includes pull-outs to park, letting one stroll its length or utilize a bench or table situated just a few feet above pitted basalt shores.

While it’s common for beachside houses to be between road and sea, Ocean Road generously gives vehicles – and walkers – the front row. Scenic at any time of year, weather inclement or mild, Yachats Ocean Road State Natural Site fits on a short list of places worth venturing when you are unsure if the sky will stay blue or turn gray. Set the channel to SeaBC for the best show in town!

North seating

25 Steps Wheels:

The north seating area of Yachats Ocean Road State Natural Site rests at the spout of the Yachats River. This viewpoint is optimally positioned to watch rows of rollers unwind onto the narrow, deep beach.

Tide level affects the amount of sand in sight which can vary greatly. When the beach just in front of the picnic area is not under water, sea level can be reached via an irregular drop off with a patch of sand-coated basalt between the path and the shallows. Unless you have good balance, sticking to the road for your exercise is a safer choice.

Walk Details for North seating
Terrain: Pavement, curb with no curb ramp, mostly level but very bumpy grass.
Seating: 2 picnic tables, 1 bench
Fee: No fee
Restrooms: None
Directions: From Highway 101 at the south end of Yachats, turn west on Ocean Road. The picnic tables are visible from the road.

South seating

25 Steps Wheels:

Just before the road bends east to loop back to Highway 101, two additional benches offer unique and independent views. Mere feet above dark basalt licked by the splashing sea, both seats overlook tide pools dipped into the aged lava rock.

Note: The walk between the north and south seating areas is around 450 steps (roughly two tenths of a mile) on pavement, the ocean at your elbow the entire way. Well worth it if you are able.

Walk Details for South seating
Terrain: Pavement, curb with no curb ramp, mostly level but very bumpy grass.
Seating: 2 benches
Fee: No fee
Restrooms: None
Directions: From Highway 101 at the south end of Yachats, turn west on Ocean Road. Seating is visible from the road.