Tag Archives: Yaquina
Jutting into the Pacific Ocean, Yaquina Head is battered almost year round by waves, wind, and a fair share of rain. The headland is a lava flow of basalt rock which refuses to be worn away as quickly as the surrounding sandstone and other rock. The bordering sandy beaches have receded, while Yaquina Head endures.
Yaquina Head Natural Area is located at the north end of Newport, Oregon. This headland provides visitors with one of the most accessible wildlife and ocean viewing locations on the Pacific Coast and is visited by hundreds of thousands of guests every year. A couple of manmade highlights of the headland are the Interpretive Center and Lighthouse. The Interpretive Center features exhibits on Seabirds, marine and intertidal life, as well as human history on the headland. The Lighthouse was constructed in 1872 and is the tallest Lighthouse on the Oregon Coast – soaring 93 feet in the air… 114 steps in the circular stairway. Open for tours, daily. Check for times, as the tour times change with the seasons.
The real show for us was the wildlife. Spring brings 65,000 Common Murres, Brandt’s Cormorants, Pelagic Cormorants, Pigeon Guillemots, Western Gulls, and Glaucous-Winged Gulls to Yaquina’s bluffs and offshore rocks.
Of course this concentration of birds attracts the raptors. Bald Eagles and Peregrine Falcons enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet! Early in the morning, Eagles and Falcons can be observed dining on seabirds near the Lighthouse. The California Gray Whale is commonly sighted just off shore and Harbor Seals were sunning on the rocks on the South side of the headlands the day we were there. If you time your visit during a low tide the tidal pools are accessible and full of life…. Sea Stars (Starfish), Green Anemones, Purple Sea Urchins, Mussels, Barnacles, Turban Snails, Hermit Crabs, small fish called Sculpins and many more.
Final thought, come…. bring your camera….enjoy.