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Winter Storm Watching Is Awe Inspiring on Oregon's Adventure Coast

Winter Storm Watching Is Awe Inspiring on Oregon's Adventure Coast

Fri, Dec 6, 2019

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When the holidays are over, that means “storm watching season” is upon us!

When Pacific Storms rage in winter and swells of 20 feet or more pound the cliffs of Oregon’s South Coast, these massive waves can rise up to 300 feet in the air and they certainly put on quite a show.

Visitors often spend hours gazing at the Pacific Ocean’s majestic fury and its 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 surrounding these cities.

The best time to go is when swells of 20-30 feet are predicted, so be sure to check the local, extended forecast. We will post High Surf Warnings on our Facebook Page, too, so Follow Us!

An amazing perch for storm watching is at Shore Acres State Park. The park has 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 captured at Shore Acres State Park that show just how powerful these waves can be.



The gigantic Pacific Ocean waves breaking across the cliffs are so spectacular that visitors plan all year to experience the power of Mother Nature as she continues to reshape lands end.

best storm watching on Oregon's Adventure Coast

It’s exciting to get close to the action, but your safety is paramount, so never turn your back to the ocean and always watch from safe viewing areas.

For the more faint of heart, a great local storm watching spot is at the bluff overlooking Bastendorff Beach and at 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 for a walk in winter, due to its geography, with land on three sides and an island that slows incoming waves.

Coming to the coast to watch the Storm 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 pictures 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. Shore Acres State Park charges a $5/vehicle fee, or display your State Park Annual Pass!

Come prepared to have a one of a kind experience you won’t soon forget.

(541) 269-0215
50 Central Ave, Coos Bay, OR 97420

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