One of the most scenic sections of Highway 101, passing around rocky headlands close to the ocean.
Mile by Mile Milepost 164.4 Yachats (ZIP 97498)
164.4 Yachats State Park On the north side of the mouth of the Yachats River, this site includes a viewing platform and provides access to tide pools and a rocky beach. Great for storm watching. Another state park looks out on the ocean from across the river.
164.4 Yachats Visitor Center
164.5 Bazalgette the Whale This intriguing and low-key art project is a metal sculpture of a whales tail at the end of a mound of earth shaped like a whales back. Every 60 seconds during daylight hours, the whale spouts. The sculptor is local artist Jim Adler.
164.8 Yachats River Not well-known as a fishing river, the estuary is actually a good place to catch cutthroat trout. In the early morning and late afternoon, herds of elk come down to the pastures by the river to feed. There are marked viewing areas between the 3- and 5-1/2-mile marks on Yachats River Road. Maps available at the Yachats Visitors Center to the Yachats North Fork Covered Bridge.
166.9 Cape Perpetua Scenic Area This 2700-acre wonderland, part of the Siuslaw National Forest, has awe-inspiring views, crashing surf, old-growth forest, and more than 20 miles of interconnected looping trails. The fissure in the basalt known as Devils Churn provides exceptional wave action. A paved trail leads down from the parking lot. Cape Perpetua Campground is open May through September and has 38 sites with no hookups and one group site, 877-444-6777. The road to Cape Perpetua Overlook and Stone Shelter winds upwards from the north side of the campground. At 802 feet, the viewpoint is the highest on the coast so close to the ocean. The stone shelter was built in the 1930s and served as a lookout for enemy ships and planes during World War II. Todays visitors are on the lookout for whales. The Visitor Center offers RV parking, information, nature walks, exhibits, book/gift shop, and a theater. Nearby trailheads lead to more than 20 miles of hiking trails to old-growth forest, tide pools, and the ocean, 547-3289 or 563-3211. The center is open mid-May through mid-September. Trails are open all year. A small amount of roadside parking for Cooks Chasm is available. The wave action has undercut the rock to form caves and blowholes. Pullout only, Northwest Forest Pass required.
167.6 LINCOLN/LANE COUNTY LINE
168.1 Unmarked Beach Access
168.5 Neptune State Park Picnic tables and restroom facilities are located close to the beach.
169.1 Cummins Ridge Trailhead Turn inland to reach the trailhead for an 18-mile hiking loop in the Siuslaw National Forest.
169.4 Strawberry Hill State Park This is a good place to watch for the 400 to 600 resident gray whales that spend much of the year off the Central Coast.
170.0 Bob Creek Beach Access Parking and picnic tables are located at this wayside. Mussels are abundant on the rocks at low tide, but you need to cross the creek to reach them. A license is required to harvest shellfish, and there are limits and restrictions.
171.5 Ten Mile Creek Bridge This reinforced concrete, bowstring arch bridge was also a McCullough design and built in 1931. In recent years it was treated to prolong its life.
171.5 Stonefield Beach Named after a pioneer family and not the smooth stones that usually cover the beach, this site has parking and beach access only. Not always open in winter.
174.3 Rock Creek Campground USFS campground with 15 campsites (no hookups) that follow the creek about 1/4-mile inland, 877-444-6777.
175.0 Big Creek Bridge This small stream bridge posed big problems: sandy foundation, high-rising water, and corrosive salt air. So another bowstring arch bridge was the answer and was built in 1931. In recent years it was treated to prolong its life.
175.4 Muriel O. Ponsler State Park Picnic tables, parking, and some nice rock work but no restrooms.
176.0 Carl G. Washburne State Park Named in honor of an Oregon highway commissioner of the 1930s who donated the bulk of the 1100-acre park. Picnic tables near the beach and restrooms are located west of Hwy 101. On the east side are 56 campsites (with full hookups), 2 yurts, a walk-in tent camp with 7 sites, and a separate hikerbiker camp. All are available on first-come, first-served basis year round.
177.3 Trailheads to Beach and Inland One trail leads to Heceta Head Lighthouse, and is part of the Oregon Coast Trail.
178.3 Heceta Head Lighthouse Devils Elbow beach located here is somewhat protected and has restroom and picnic tables. From the beach follow a trail to the former assistant lighthouse keepers home, Heceta House, and continue to lighthouse. Fee area. Heceta House and the lighthouse are open for tours Memorial Day through Labor Day, hours vary. Heceta House is also a B&B, 547-3696.
178.4 Cape Creek Bridge The bridge abuts the Cape Creek Tunnel and is best viewed from Devils Elbow Beach at Heceta Head Lighthouse. Its one of McCulloughs most unique and attractive arch designs. With its numerous columns and arches, it is reminiscent of the Roman aqueducts, particularly the Pont du Gard near Nimes, France.
179.0 Heceta Lighthouse Viewpoint If youve seen a calendar with a photo of Heceta Lighthouse, the chances are good that this is where the picture was taken. Limited parking.
179.3 Sea Lion Caves This natural cave is the worlds largest sea cave and home to Northern (Steller) sea lions. A sculpture by Ken Scott adorns the entrance. Parking is available directly in front of the gift shop and on the east side of the highway. Gift shop and restrooms are wheelchair accessible but not the caves. Admission is charged, 547-3111.
182.5 C&M Stables Horses are available to rent for daytime and evening group excursions through the dunes and onto the beach, 997-7540.
183.6 Alder Dune Campground USFS campground with paved campsites with no hookups, with water and flush toilets available. Open May through September.
184.7 Sutton Boat Launch USFS ramp for launching small boats onto Sutton Lake and a parking area. Northwest Forest Pass required.
185.2 Darlingtonia State Natural Site Near the highway, you find tables sheltered by large cedars and a boardwalk trail to the bog where the carnivorous plants grow.
185.4 USFS Sutton Rec Area At the campground, there are 80 campsites and two group camping areas plus one group picnic area (available by reservation). Wheelchair-accessible Holman Vista provides an excellent view of the Sutton Creek estuary. Northwest Forest Pass is required.
187.3 Heceta Beach Turnoff Turn here for Heceta Beach and Rhododendron Drive that rejoins Hwy 101 in the middle of Florence. North Jetty Beach Road is off Rhododendron Drive.
187.8 Munsel Lake Road A short drive brings you to Munsel Lake Boat Ramp. A little farther is Ocean Dunes Golf Links, a challenging 18-hole course. The road then meets North Fork Siuslaw Road which leads to Hwy 126.
188.0 Mapleton Ranger Station The ranger station is located in Florence and is a great place to stop for information on hiking, camping, and day-use areas on the Siuslaw National Forest, 902-8526.
190.0 Hwy 126 Junction Fourteen miles inland is Mapleton (ZIP 97453). Many businesses in this unincorporated community depend on the Siuslaw River, which flows through the middle of town. Boating and fishing are the most popular activities. Because Mapleton is inland and farther from the ocean, warmer temperatures and less wind prevail in the summer.