The holidays are over, and that means “storm watching season” is upon us! The massive waves (some reaching up to 120 feet high!) resulting from Pacific storms that rage during the winter months put on quite a show. Visitors often spend hours gazing at the Pacific Ocean’s majestic fury and it’s dramatic waves. Seasoned storm watchers know that some of the best viewing spots on the Oregon Coast dot the rugged coastline around Coos Bay, North Bend, Charleston and at the state parks that surround these cities.
The best time to go is when swells are predicted to be high so be sure to check the local, extended forecast. It’s exciting to get close to the action, but we need you to stay safe so never turn your back to the ocean and always watch from safe viewing areas.
An amazing perch is at Shore Acres State Park. They have a designated viewing area offering breathtaking views, just for ocean gazers and storm watchers. On rainy days, there’s even a storm watching hut to keep visitors safe and dry. Here are a couple of great videos we captured at Shore Acres State Park and elsewhere.
The gigantic Pacific Ocean waves breaking across the cliffs are so spectacular, visitors plan all year to experience the power of Mother Nature as she continues to reshape lands end.
For the more faint of heart, a great local storm watching spot is at the bluff overlooking Bastendorff Beach and Sunset Bay State Park along Cape Arago Highway. Sunset Bay State Park features a protected beach, with tidepools exposed at low tide. The beach is probably the safest beach to walk on in winter, due to its geography, with land on three sides and an island that slows incoming waves.
Follow these tips to stay safe & dry!
- It’s the Oregon coast during heavy waves, so of course, it can get pretty wet. Make sure you pack quality rain gear to waterproof yourself and your loved ones. Light, waterproof jackets and sweaters help to keep the cool damp wind out.
- Dress in layers as the temperature will fluctuate.
- If you plan to hike and explore, we encourage you to also bring hiking boots (waterproof ones are the best).
- You will most definitely want to snap some pics or videos of the storm. It is not a bad idea to invest in a quality digital camera that is completely waterproof.
- Binoculars can really enhance viewing of the spectacular waves.
- Be aware that some locations, like state parks, may charge a fee for access.
Come prepared to have a one of a kind experience you won’t soon forget. Visit OregonsAdventureCoast.com for more.