In this part of the coast, state parks and viewpoints abound with attractions. There’s so much to see here that keeping your eyes on the road in this heavily traveled section is a challenge.
A mile north of Yachats , Smelt Sands State Recreation Site gives access to tide pools and the 0.75-mile 804 Trail, which follows the rocky shore to a broad sandy beach to the north. In Yachats, turn west onto Second Street to loop around wave-battered Yachats State Recreation Area, overlooking Yachats Bay. The route heads north along the ocean, where it becomes Marine Drive. After going through a residential community, it eventually takes an easterly turn to reconnect with U.S. 101.
On the south bank of the Yachats River is a short but beautiful beach loop off U.S. 101 (going south, look for the “Beach Access” sign). The road runs between the landscaped grounds of beach houses and resorts on one side and the foamy sea on the other. A wide beach, tide pools, and blowholes on the bank by the river’s mouth are a special treat.
A mile south of Cape Perpetua , Neptune State Park has a beautiful beach and is near the 9,300-acre Cummins Creek Wilderness east of U.S. 101. Just north of Neptune Park, Forest Service Road 1050 leads east to the Cummins Creek Trailhead. A half-mile south, gravelly Forest Service Road 1051 can take you to a point where a moderately difficult 2.5-mile hike leads to Cummins Ridge Trailhead. This pathway has some of the last remaining coastal old-growth Sitka spruce stands. Get maps and detailed directions for these and other area trails at the Cape Perpetua visitors center.
Close by, there’s a chance to explore tide pools and sometimes observe harbor seals at Strawberry Hill. Scenic shorelines can also be found in the next few miles farther south at Stonesfield Beach State Recreation Site and Muriel O. Ponsler State Scenic Viewpoint.