Otter Rock and Devils Punchbowl
Whether you’re searching for the perfect spot for your next vacation or looking to take a day trip to a more rural destination in Oregon, Otter Rock may be the perfect place for you to visit. Otter Rock is a small, unincorporated community that’s part of the Oregon Coast. From hiking trails to the Otter Rock Marine Reserve, there are plenty of things to see and do in this area. If you want to plan a trip to Otter Rock, here’s an in-depth guide that should make your stay in the community a more pleasant one.
Traveling to Otter Rock
The Oregon coast is known for its picturesque views and natural splendor, which is made clear in Otter Rock. With just 225 residents, Otter Rock is the place to be if you enjoy spending time outdoors. The main activities that you can take part in when traveling to Otter Rock include:
Learn About the Otter Rock Marine Reserve
Tourists and Oregon residents alike often choose to visit this community because of the Otter Rock Marine Reserve, which is a beautiful reserve that’s situated along the Oregon Coast. While it’s the smallest of its kind in the state, it boasts many beautiful sights. This 1.2-mile reserve stretches from Otter Rock to Beverly State Beach. You’ll find small tide pools at the northernmost portion of the reserve. There are many different types of sea creatures that call this area home, which include sea anemones, fish, octopuses, mussels, sea stars, seals, and seaweed.
If you visit the north end of this reserve, you’ll discover rocky intertidal habitats that make for the perfect photo opportunity. When the water draws back during low tides, you’ll see kelp beds, sand dollar beds, and a shallow rocky reef. You can reach the Otter Rock Marine Reserve by first traveling to the Devils Punchbowl State Natural Area.
Things to Do in and Around Otter Rock
If you’re looking for adventure, you’ll find many things to do, trails to hike, and places to eat in and around Otter Rock.
Beverly Beach State Park
Beverly Beach State Park is just a few minutes away from Otter Rock. You’ll discover this park between Yaquina Head and Cape Foulweather. It boasts one of the largest campgrounds in all of Oregon, which is conveniently located right beside miles of pristine beaches. Along with tide pools and close proximity to the Oregon Coast Aquarium, visitors frequently spot whales from the many viewpoints in the park. The primary features of this park include:
During your time at this park, you’ll also have access to a yurt meeting hall, picnic shelters, a spacious playground, and a welcome center.
Devils Punchbowl State Natural Area
The Devils Punchbowl State Natural Area is a favorite among surfers who are searching for choppy and formidable waves. Even if you don’t surf, you can’t miss the hollow rock formation that gives the location its “punch bowl” name. Waves crash against this rock to create perfect surfing conditions. It’s also a great spot for whale watching.
Cape Foulweather is home to one of the more popular viewpoints in Oregon. The location was originally owned by Wilbur and Florence Badley in the early 20th century before they sold it to the state. Just beside the viewpoint is a small souvenir shop known as “The Lookout”, which you can visit to buy one of the many unique items and souvenirs they have on sale. Half of this building has also been opened up for indoor viewing. This viewpoint is situated around 500 feet above the ocean, which guarantees some of the most scenic views in the state. While the viewpoint is always accessible, the gift shop is only open from 10AM-4PM Wednesday through Sunday.
Flying Dutchman Winery
The Flying Dutchman Winery is a local winery in Otter Rock that’s a favorite among residents and tourists alike. In fact, it’s the only working winery currently situated along the Oregon Coast. It sits right across the street from the Devils Punchbowl and is minutes away from sandy beaches. You can also reach additional attractions like the Newport Aquarium in a few minutes.
When you’re spending time at this winery, consider stopping by the picnic area, which is a cozy spot that shelters you from the ocean winds while providing panoramic views of the beaches below. After you tour the winery and sample some of their varietals, think about visiting their gift shop, which focuses on unusual nautical and wine-related gifts alongside original art by local artists.
If you enjoy hiking and are looking for a challenge, don’t hesitate to hike to Cascade Head, which is a 6.8-mile trail that has an elevation gain of 1,200 feet. Keep in mind that this is an out-and-back trail. Because of how lengthy this trail is, it’s highly recommended that you take ample amounts of water with you.
Once you reach the top, you’ll discover that you’re overlooking a vast expanse of the Oregon Coast. The Cascade Head trail is situated on top of a 270-acre preserve. During your hike, you’ll notice plenty of meadows that are filled with wildflowers. Elk are also common in the area.
Valley of the Giants
Valley of the Giants is another old-growth forest near Otter Rock that’s perfect for anyone who wants to take part in a more peaceful and relaxing hike that offers seclusion and glimpses of the local wildlife. This is a 1.3-mile loop trail that offers an elevation gain of nearly 700 feet.
Some of the oldest Douglas fir trees are found along this trail, which crosses the Siletz River and provides hikers with a serene picnic spot. If you travel during the fall, you’ll be able to view an endless sea of green burst into many different shades of brown and red. While the elevation gain isn’t as high as the Cascade Head trail, there are a few steep sections that you should be on the lookout for.
Mo's Seafood & Chowder
Mo’s Seafood & Chowder is just nearby the Flying Dutchman Winery and is a popular eatery that offers an expansive menu of seafood, pasta, and burgers. This local eatery has been open since 1972 and provides guests with favorites like breaded cod, blackened and grilled salmon, and Mo’s clam chowder. They also offer a selection of beers, wines, and cocktails that you can pair with your entree.
If you want a more elegant and upscale dining experience, consider making a reservation at Restaurant Beck, which is part of the Whale Cove Inn. This restaurant offers locally sourced American cuisine with panoramic ocean views.
To gain appreciation of all that the restaurant has to offer, consider trying the chef’s four-course or five-course tasting menu. Their sample menu comes with dishes like American Wagyu Bavette, lamb crepinette, and pork belly confit.
Spyglass at Otter Crest
Spyglass at Otter Crest is another delectable eatery along the Oregon Coast that offers beautiful views of the ocean and a memorable fine-dining experience. This restaurant focuses on seasonal seafood offerings, which is why the menu changes frequently. Consider dishes like the otter shroomer and spicy pelican.
Otter Rock is a small but peaceful destination that exemplifies the best that Oregon has to offer. Anyone who loves hiking, spending time outdoors, and taking scenic photos will enjoy their time in Otter Rock. With this guide in hand, you should have everything you need to begin your journey.