Scenic USA - Oregon

Pacific Coast Scenic Byway

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Moolack Beach - Pacific Coast Scenic Byway, Oregon

Photos by Denny Barnes and Ben Prepelka

     According to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Whalehead Beach - Curry County, Oregon Norman Mineta, "Scenic Byways help create a sense of pride in America. They connect us to this country's beauty, history and culture." As of last count in 2010, there were 150 National Scenic Byways. A stricter designation, the All-American Road, applies 31 highway segments, including the 363 mile Pacific Coast Scenic Byway in Oregon. Seen on a map as U.S. Route 101, the byway starts in the north at Astoria and heads southward, passing Oregon's beautiful coastal scenery. The byway's cozy towns, picturesque light stations, Coastal Mountains and rugged headlands only add more charm and splendor to this seaside journey.
     While Oregon residents and coastal visitors have access to 67 recreational areas, scenic overlooks and state parks, Yaquina Bay Bridge - Newport, Oregon many scenic wonders have no official designation. Noted as one of the most photographed regions in the country, the byway treats its visitors with a remarkable variety of natural wonders, as well as dozens of man-made structures. Sea lions, seals, and shorebirds take advantage of the countless seastacks that add that distinctive northwestern character to Oregon's beaches. Historic bridges, coastal rivers, secluded bays and eleven lighthouses are spaced out all along the coast. Yaquina Head Lighthouse - Lincoln County, Oregon This scene near Yaquina Head takes in the tallest sentry on the byway, as the lighthouse tower stands 162 feet above the sea. Here, the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, a preserve managed by the BLM, offers visitors the chance to view thousands of seabird nesting areas, an annual migration of gray whales, tidal pools and a magnificent coastline. Further south, wind-sculpted dunes line miles and miles of beach at the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. Stretching from the Coos River near North Bend, to the Siuslaw River at Florence, this recreation area is home to largest expanse of coastal sand dunes in North America. More seaside parks, lighthouses and rugged headlands keep byway sightseers busy on their journey south from the dunes area to the California state line at Brookings.

   Byway Maps

Pacific Coast Byway Highlights, N-S


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