View from Otter Crest

Fog hugs the shoreline south of Otter Crest Scenic Viewpoint.  Oregon Coast.  Photo: KGilb

Fog hugs the shoreline south of Otter Crest Scenic Viewpoint. Oregon Coast. Photo: KGilb

We took a day trip recently to the Oregon Coast and made a point of stopping at the Otter Crest State Scenic Viewpoint. It was a beautiful autumn day with blue skies and lots of sunshine, and the view was spectacular! The sun’s rays were bouncing off the waves like crazy–and land, sea, and sky seemed to stretch out forever.

Hard to believe that this rugged promontory was originally named Cape Foulweather by British explorer, Captain James Cook. But during the winter, it’s not uncommon for fierce storms to blow in off the Pacific here with winds up to 100 mph.

The scenic viewpoint at Otter Crest stands at the top of a cliff 500 feet above sea level. On a clear day, you can watch an endless succession of white-capped waves roll in to crash against the shoreline. There’s also a good view of the Devil’s Punchbowl area and the Yaquina Head Lighthouse far to the south.

Looking for wildlife? You can often spot clusters of sea lions sunning themselves on the rocks below, as well as flocks of sea birds like gulls, pelicans, and cormorants. And whales, can’t forget them! Otter Crest is a popular whale watching site along the Oregon Coast.

The Look-Out Observatory and Gift Shop stands adjacent to the parking lot. Privately owned, it features a variety of items for sale: Myrtlewood, seashells, nautical items like miniature lighthouses, wood carvings, jewelry, etc. There’s also a small wine tasting room toward the back. Bonus feature: The walls of the gift shop are peppered with windows so you can still marvel at the views even while shopping.

The Otter Crest State Scenic Viewpoint is located between Depoe Bay and Otter Rock on the Oregon Coast. From Highway 101, halfway between MP131 and MP132, turn off onto the Otter Crest Loop Access Road. Follow the signs to the parking lot, and prepare to be dazzled!

Special Note: There are no public restrooms at this location. The nearest facilities are in Depoe Bay or one mile south at the Devil’s Punchbowl.

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