The Coast's Most Inspiring Viewpoints
By Gary Hayes, Publisher & Explorer
Published: 09/04/2010  Updated: 08/06/2019
Sandstone Cliffs and rock formations at Cape Kiwanda
Sandstone Cliffs and rock formations at Cape Kiwanda  photo by Gary Hayes

The coast offers innumerable inspiring panoramic viewpoints that are spectacular anytime of year, but truly special in the offseason.

This is a region of endless inspiring views, a landscape carved over millions of years by the forces of water and wind. From public viewpoints all along the Northwest coast you can take in these perfect panoramas. In this place, where the wild Pacific Ocean meets the great Pacific Northwest rainforest, you can feel the thunder of crashing waves, observe wildlife and discover stunning natural wonders. It's no surprise that this coastline is so loved by Northwesterners and attracts visitors from around the world.

When the surf is up, stand along the seawall at Depoe Bay and watch spouting horns shoot water high in the air. Experience the view from Ecola State Park where you can see the isolated Tillamook Rock Lighthouse offshore and the towering seastacks that even awed explorer William Clark 200 years ago. At Cape Disappointment State Park's north jetty, observe giant waves exploding into mist below the 150-year-old lighthouse. In Otter Rock, Devil's Punchbowl churns and bubbles its foamy froth.

These are scenes that can be experienced all along this beautiful shoreline. While these locations are impressive even in the summer, they are places that you really should experience in the fall and winter. Many of these viewpoints are easily accessible, sometimes just steps from public parking in state parks, waysides and highway pullouts. You may prefer those that take you a hike away from the civilized world where the only sounds you hear are surf, wind and the call of seabirds. We invite you to share your memorable experiences and favorite viewpoints with us. Email your photos and comments to We'll post as many as we can online. Happy exploring!
The Coast's Most Inspiring Viewpoints