From the Yaquina Bay South Jetty, you can see all of Newport’s most prominent man-made features. The Yaquina Bay Bridge spans the water to the east. The historic Yaquina Bay Lighthouse is nestled in the trees to the northwest. And Yaquina Head Lighthouse sits regally on a jut of land to the north. There are better places in Newport to view each of these landmarks individually, but the Yaquina Bay South Jetty is uniquely positioned to provide a glimpse of them all.
Although not as picturesque, the jetties themselves, like all Oregon coast jetties, are an engineering feat. Add to that nature’s beauty – the beach stretching south, open ocean spreading to the horizon, an ample supply of sea life – and this section of South Beach State Park is worth a stop.
Check out the Oregon Coast Lighthouse Roundup.
Why is it so much fun to watch waves roll between jetties and witness the multifarious splashes against the carefully stacked rocks? I think it’s on par with watching a well-designed fish tank – for some odd reason it is entertaining, lulling, soothing, healthful.
The barks of seals lounging near the bridge and on buoys accompany this show at the Yaquina Bay South Jetty. You’re also likely to see a grebe, surf scoter, or other sea fowl.
The distance to reach the portion of the jetty that extends beyond the coastline exceeds most 100 Steps walks. But I’m a fan of jetties, and due to the wonderful views, this one deserves to be included. Even if the walk to the jetty is not an option for you, most of the sights can be enjoyed just a few steps from the parking area.
|Terrain: Gravel turns into a sandy incline with rolling bumps. Not a good choice for folks who need solid terrain.|
|Fee: No fee|
|Restrooms: Yes, an outhouse on the south side of the gravel and pot-holed parking area.|
|Directions: From Highway 101 just south of the Yaquina Bay Bridge in Newport, turn west on SW Abalone Street, then left on Jetty Road. Head to the end of the road, then continue on foot.|