Off the Charts
By Gary Hayes
Published: 10/07/2015  Updated: 08/13/2019
Waves at Ecola State Park
Waves at Ecola State Park  Photo by Gary Hayes

Along the Oregon Coast unrelenting waves, tumultuous surf and high tides join forces in fall and winter for some of the best wave watching action anywhere.

There are many reasons I love the Oregon Coast in fall and winter, but there is one big one: the waves. The big waves you see this time of year offer a spectacle that only off-season travelers get to experience. The waves are not just one reason, they are one reason after another as big waves roll in and meet the shore with thunderous effect over and over again. It's not easy to tear yourself away from this scene because here comes another wave and it may be the biggest crash yet. Unrelenting waves, tumultuous surf and high tides combine for one of the greatest shows on earth. I've never liked the term "off-season," but maybe I just need to change the way I think about it. After all, I would agree that it is off the hook. Off beat? Sometimes. Off the charts? Quite often. Though, a fall or winter trip to the beach is not an off the rack experience. You never really know what you are going to encounter during your visit. Will you experience the stormy coast that many seek or will you get a surprise visit from the sunny skies that emerge between? You won't really have to get off the beaten path to find yourself face-to-face with a herd of elk or have a bald eagle soar over your head. So maybe it's time you got off the dime and commit to whatever experience comes your way on the Oregon Coast. The big waves are coming, so check out a cliff side near you. The Oregon Coast's nearly 2,000 rock formations and small islands are waiting to greet you and the incoming waves.

Off the Charts