Oregon – Yachats State Park

Yachats State Park is located in the middle of Yachats and is comprised of approximately 2,700 acres. Pronounced “Yah-hots,” Yachats is derived from the Chinook word, Yahuts, which means dark waters at the foot of a mountain. Second Street makes a loop around the park, allowing a spectacular view of the location where the Yachats River meets the Pacific Ocean. The village at Yachats is a place for relaxation and is a great area to hike, picnic, and explore. A grassy area with benches and picnic tables sits where the Yachats River empties into the ocean. The village is full of galleries, shops, eateries, coffee houses, and wine bars.

Yachats State Park has beautiful tide pools and areas to hunt for fossil and agate. The cliffs are rigid and stunning, carved from volcanic basalt. Yachats beaches are home to many plant and wildlife species including seals, salmon, rock fish, and many species of birds such as herons, egrets, ducks, pelicans, and also eagles. The ocean is even home to a gray whale migration during parts of the year.

Many scenic viewpoints to enjoy the ocean and its surrounding landscapes are located in Yachats State Park and include Spouting Horn, Cook’s Chasm, and Devil’s Churn. Spouting Horn is located in Cook’s Chasm and is a salt water fountain powered by the ocean. The horn is most stunning at high tide or during winter storms. The horn can be viewed from the highway or from a wheelchair accessible point on Captain Cook Trail. Cook’s Chasm is also home to wonderful tide pools. Devil’s Churn is a rocky area where the tide pounds into the landscape, leaving a frothy surf. This spectacle is best viewed during high tide and winter storms. This area also contains restrooms, an information center, and coffee shop.

Yachats’ 26 miles of trails allow for a perfect glimpse into the rainforests and surroundings of the Pacific Ocean shorelines, many of which are wheelchair accessible. Six miles of trails are even dedicated to mountain biking. Historic 804 Trail starts at the northern area of Yachats on a sandy beach. This trail leads to Smelt Sands State Park and Yachats State Park which include tide pools and coves covered in pebbles.

Gerdemann Botanical Preserve’s Public Footpath is located in northern Yachats. This footpath runs alongside a small creek that is surrounded by rhododendrons. The entire trail is sheltered beneath canopies of coastal woodlands that are native to California. This trail is a public footpath that is on private property.

Amanda Trail is a northward hike on Yachats Ocean Road and offers expansive views of the ocean and coastal woodlands. This trail is named in memory of Amanda, who was a blind woman of the Coos tribe who suffered injustices during the 1860s. Her statue stands at the base of the trail and is signal to the start of a strenuous climb to the top of Cape Perpetua, which is often described as the place where “the land meets the sea.” Its trees reach high into the coastal fog.

Cape Perpetua Overlook can be reached by car and is the highest point on the Oregon Coast that can be reached that way. A walk from there will lead you to the Stone West Shelter. This shelter was built in the 1930s by stone masons and offers panoramic views of the ocean and is the perfect location to look for whales, seals, and kayakers.

The United States Forest Service maintains the hiking trails and offers guided walks and tours. The Visitor’s Center contains historical exhibits displaying the culture and nature from the area, a children’s corner, and a theater that shows nature films. The park is free for use. For more information about Yachats State Park, you may call 1 800 551 6949. The Visitor Center can be reached at 541 547 3530 or online at http://www.yachats.org.