Seaside Stories

Chasing Waterfalls

September 1, 2013 | by Nate Burke

Every now and then, a waterfall hunter will stop into the Seaside Visitors Bureau for insider tips on where they can find hidden hot spots in the area. These folks know that discovering a waterfall in the old growth forests or on an early morning beach stroll can be like stumbling upon a secret treasure trove. The sight and sound of water plunging from a vertical drop has the ability to send us into a special kind of reverie. Where there is a waterfall, there is a kind of sanctuary of the senses. These serene retreats are especially tranquil here on the North Oregon Coast and the Coast Range, where the wild and untouched surroundings add to the experience of discovery.

So in the interests of waterfall hunters everywhere, here are some of our favorite places in the area to splash around, picnic, or daydream.

Young’s River Falls (Map): First discovered in 1806 by a member of the Lewis & Clark expedition, Young’s River Falls sits 16 miles NE of Seaside by way of Lewis & Clark road. Tucked away at the base of the Coast Range, the Falls cascade down over a large rock wall into a spacious and tranquil basin. The vertical drop is around 50 feet and the acoustics are pretty remarkable. This is a hard-charging waterfall, with plenty of energy and muscle.  It’s possible to wade and swim in the basin, which is a popular activity with locals on a hot summer day.

Hug Point Waterfall (Map): Where Young’s River Falls is a brawny woodsman, the waterfall out at Hug Point is a supple and silky ballet dancer. Located right on the beach, the water capers off of the bluffs around 15 feet and flows directly down the sands into the ocean.  During sunset, the dainty outflow positively glitters. Hug Point beach access is a quick 12 miles south of Seaside and offers some stunning scenery with its sculpted sandstone bluffs.

Fishhawk Falls (Map): Fishhawk Falls lies 35 miles east of Seaside and is a great place to stopover if you’re coming to the North Coast from the Portland area on highway 26. Fishhawk Falls is a lively and skittish 70 foot drop down a tiered basalt rock cluster. The waters richochet and rebound in multiple streams, finally settling at the bottom where they form Fishhawk Creek.  As an added bonus, the falls are just about a mile from the celebrated Jewell Meadows Wildlife Refuge where the elk herds typically roam.

Have we missed a waterfall spot you might be familiar with along Oregon’s North Coast or do you have a story to tell about one of the three spots we did list? Please share with us by commenting below.

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