Highlights: Cape Perpetua, Thor's Well, Oregon Dunes, Haceta Head Lighthouse, Florence's Old Town
Haceta Beach RV Resort Site 46;$42.50/night; back in; gravel/firm sand; level; full hook up; CATV; weak Verizon cellular and almost unusable ATT LTE service. Only two washers ($2) and two driers ($3), but they worked well. Adequately spaced sites had mature hedges providing exceptional privacy between sites. Navigating and parking trailer easy. The campground is about 2 miles off Route 101 and a ½ mile walk to the beach, which also had parking for about a dozen cars.
Haceta Beach on JUNE 6! A heavy wind from the north every day
The Cape Perpetua Visitor Center, the Overlook, Devil's Churn, and Thor's Well are within a short distance of each other. Each has it's own parking area.
A narrow twisting road leading to the Cape Perpetua Overlook is just north of the Visitor's Center on the Coastal Highway. This is a remarkable place.
“Towering 800 feet over the protected Marine Garden shoreline, the Cape Perpetua Headland is the highest viewpoint accessible by car on the Oregon Coast. On clear days, views extend 37 miles out to sea, and along 70 miles of coastline. Cape Perpetua Scenic Area, encompassing 2,700 acres of coastal habitat, was set aside for unique ecological characteristics found where the temperate spruce rainforest transitions to the sea.”https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/siuslaw/recreation/recarea/?recid=42265
Observation structure at the point
Parking is for Thor's Well which is the round white foam spot in the rocks at the ocean's edge directly to the right of the parking. Walking trail is visible too.
This is a popular spot for good reason. It is a hole in the rocks estimated to be about 20 feet deep and at high tide seems to swallow the sea and spew it back up. We got there by walking the Cape Cove Trail from a small parking lot across from the Visitor Center road. Parking is more congested closer to the Well and the views along the way were worth it.
The following photos are along the Cape Cove Trail walking to Thors Well
Photos of Thor's Well: (We took photos for an hour or more and sat another hour just watching. )
As the first sequence shows - people do get swept out to sea here.
Watching from a bench on the trail
A small parking gives access to this fun spot for watching waves.
Haceta Head Lighthouse
We took a nice tour of the lighthouse keeper's house, which is also a B&B. There is a modest walk up a paved path to the lighthouse. The real fun was taking a much steeper hike up a trail above the lighthouse.
Nearby is a popular tourist stop Sea Lion Caves. We did not go for a few reasons. I guess you take an elevator to a cave where you will see many sea lions, and smell many sea lions. The odor is said to be quite overpowering. As we had seen sea lions along the coast without an elevator or a fee, we chose to skip this.
Just north of the Sea Lion Caves is a fantastic viewpoint. Small parking lot best to access on your southbound travel.
Heceta Head Lighthouse in the distance
Upon returning, another small unmarked viewpoint looks south at Haceta Beach
Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
These are the largest expanse of coastal sand dunes in the US. They run for 40 miles along the Oregon coast and reach heights close to 500'. There are campgrounds, and hiking and recreational vehicle trails. The area includes temperate forests containing 30 lakes and rivers. There are state parks within the recreation area.
For a brochure:
Oregon Dunes Day Use Area
This was a long, but easy walk through forest and open dunes to the beach.
Flowers in the brush along the trail
Jessie Honeyman SP
This has a swimmable pond next to the parking area as well as some tall dunes to slide down.
I'm standing on a tall dune that goes downhill right to the lake, where there is a day use area.
Dune tours are available nearby
This is the best walk for the least amount of effort. Walking along the Siltcoos River and out to the beach where we found sea lions resting.
The wind was blowing hard enough that we sough shelter at the edge of the dune rather than walk the beach
John Dellenback Trail in Tugman SP
This is a much longer trail through tall and exposed dunes. I only went part way and went off trail a bit to hike up a massive dune. The wind was blowing hard enough to make it difficult standing on the top. But what views! This is truly an otherworldly place
The trail goes to the right, but I went up the dune on the left
This is the dune I climbed. Sand is blowing over the top.
The people below are hiking back from the beach. I am bushwhacking on the tall dune
Wind is smoothing the top
A selfie with my conquest in the back
The Dunes go from Coos Bay to Florence and are divided by the Umpqua River. This 65 foot lighthouse was built in 1894 and emits a red and white flash. There are campgrounds nearby. This is a little inland so there are no other views other than to see the lighthouse.
Driving through Florence we parked the RV in front of the Visitor Center and had lunch nearby. Later at the Visitor Center the volunteer recognized our accents. Almost as expected now said she was originally from Dorchester MA. I told her that my warehouse operations right hand and good friend Danny came from Dorchester. We confirmed we were talking about the same person and she said that the house she grew up in overlooked Danny's back yard!
Just south of Haceta Beach is the town of Florence. Bay street runs along the wide Siuslaw River and has several waterfront dining options and a few shops to kill some time.
Waterfront Depot is a former train depot and was the highest rated restaurant in our guides so on our last night while fighting through the allergies, we got in without reservations at 5 PM. I had their signature crab encrusted alaskan halibut with a tasty chili cream sauce and enjoyable caesar salad for just $20 – very reasonable for the quality. Sandy took the recommendation of the waitress for the braised lamb shank (over the rack of lamb), osso buco style with veggies and pinot noir sauce. She really liked it.
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