Devil's Punchbowl State Natural Area
By Erin Bernard
Published: 06/27/2014
The Devil's Punchbowl churns up water from ferocious waves as they break through the ancient rock formation.
The Devil's Punchbowl churns up water from ferocious waves as they break through the ancient rock formation.  Photo by Gary Hayes

Over the ages, an endless procession of thundering waves and buffeting coastal winds have custom-outfitted this devilishly situated, eight-acre natural area with scenery sure to stun, surprise and excite coastal visitors.

Devil's Punchbowl is a true testament to the ocean's might. The eight-acre park's crowning jewel is a large sandstone pool carved out by eons of merciless waves and, rumor has it, the collapse of two sea caves. This area is a great example of the dramatic coastal geography that has made Oregon famous. The colors of the rocks and water are apt to change with the light, from sandy browns to reds and blues to deep sea greens.

Go beachcombing and then check out the miniature menagerie that inhabits the tide pools on the bowl's northern side, where you could stumble upon anything from sea anemones to starfish and crabs. Afterward, brush the sand from your toes and head to the scenic picnic area to break bread with your fellow explorers.

When the storms come, this spot lives up to its diabolical name as frothy ocean waves swirl and whip. It's a show dramatic enough to widen the eyes of even a seasoned storm-watcher. Is the punchbowl a churning witch's cauldron or a frothy, primitive bathtub? You decide. Check tide tables before your visit and bring rugged footwear.

Devil's Punchbowl State Natural Area is located off U.S. Highway 101 at Otter Rock, eight miles north of Newport.
Devil's Punchbowl State Natural Area