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“Sea loins, whales, and more”

Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area
Ranked #1 of 52 things to do in Newport
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: From exploring tide pools teeming with life to witnessing Oregon's tallest lighthouse, there is something for every visitor at Yaquina Head. Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area extends out from the Oregon coast, one mile into the Pacific Ocean. Standing 93 feet tall at the westernmost point of the basalt headland, the lighthouse has been a bright beacon of the night, guiding ships and their supplies along the west coast since the light was first lit on August 20, 1873. The offshore islands are a year-round refuge for harbor seals and a spring-summer home for thousands of nesting seabirds. Gray whales can be spotted during their annual migrations to Mexico (late fall-early winter) and Alaska (late winter-early spring). During the summer months some gray whales take the opportunity to feed in the shallow waters around the headland. Cobble Beach is compiled of millions of round basalt rocks that produce an applause-like sound as the waves roll in. When the tide is low a vibrant ocean floor is revealed—pools of colorful animals including orange sea stars, purple sea urchins, and giant green anemones. Rangers are at hand to answer questions and point out all of the amazing plants and animals that call the tide pools home. Visit the Interpretive Center and discover 140 years of lighthouse history and thousands of years of natural and cultural history. Friends of Yaquina Lighthouses, a non-profit organization, offers site-related books, maps, and postcards in their interpretive store. Whether you want to see raging winter storms batter the Oregon coast, learn about the role lighthouses played in the westward expansion of the United States, or watch peregrine falcons at play, visit Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area and experience something wild.
Reviewed July 9, 2012

Make this the one "do not miss"site of our Oregon coast vacation. See the title pool, the lighthouse, the bird rookerys, the sea loins, and look out for migrating whales, or local whales blowing or breaking the surface. The rangers are extremely knowledgable and helpful.

2  Thank pegrw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,530 - 1,534 of 1,685 reviews

Reviewed July 9, 2012

This was on my "must list" when we decided to visit the Oregon Coast and I was not disappointed. I had never seen a Lighthouse before and it was just beautiful and rich with history. The ladies giving the tour of the lighthouse are very informative and dressed in period piece clothing. I am so proud of my button that says "I survived the climb at Yaquina Head Lighthouse"...thanks goodness I made it to the top! After taking several pictures of the lighthouse, I realize they're other things to do. The volunteers have telescopes set up in a viewing area to help you see all the wildlife on the surrounding rocks and are there to answer all the questions that you may have. This was just an amazing place and I plan on going back tomorrow to the tide pools. We paid $7 at the gate and the gal told us it was a 3 day pass, we just had to keep the receipt if we wanted to come back the next day.

1  Thank Tracy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2012

Nothing makes me feel smaller than a vista of an ocean. At Yaquina Head, I stood 100 feet above a black, cobble stone beach where pools of seawater rested between large boulders covered in a carpet of kelp and seagrasses. Within these tidal pools I saw Ochre Sea Stars, Black Turban Snails, Limpets, and Mussels. The opportunity to touch these creatures without harming them. As I looked up at two nearby very large rocks, I watched 20 or so Harbor Seals bask in the sun, slip into the waves, and then return to relax once again in the sun.

As I climbed the steps to the promontory, I heard the calls of hundreds of birds who nest atop these large rock islands. Brandt's Cormorants commanded the uppermost area and were surrounded by "penguin-like Common Murres. These smaller birds , dressed in their tuxedos, hopped along until they reached the edge of the cliff, took a breath, and leaped into the wind to soar off across the water. Western Gulls posed watchfully near nests filled with two spotted chicks.

Anemone interested in nature and beauty AND historic lighthouses will love this area!

1  Thank sablephae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2012

Yaquina head lighthouse requires paying an admission, but it's well worth it. Enroute to the lighthouse is a combination gift shop and museum. It's well worth a visit.
The lighthouse itself has vast views, as lighthouses usually do. Just offshore are a couple of large rocks that during the spring mating season become home to thousands of seabirds.
An if your timing is right, as ours was one sunny day several years ago, there were the birds, plus seals lazing on the rocks below, plus a whale nosing around.
The museum will tell you Yaquina Head used to be called something else and why that name was relocated a bit further north on the coast.

Thank topsnoop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2012

This is a definite stop along the 101 Pacific highway. The view of the coastline is amazing. This is a natural habitat for sea lions and water birds. Well marked trails for walking, you can easily get down to cobblestone beach and listen to the stones applause the crashing waves. Try to plan your visit at low tide to view the tidal pools. Volunteers on site more than happy to give you some information.

Thank pinktrim4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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