photo by Ken Gagne
The Cape Perpetua Scenic Area is part of the 630,000-acre Siuslaw National Forest. This forest is actually a temperate rainforest that has more dense vegetation than the Amazon jungle. A good place to start is to take the steep road up to the Cape Perpetua Visitor and Interpretative Center, located two miles south of Yachats off Hwy 101. There are many guided hikes and educational programs available, or set out on your own. Hiking trails lead through the forest and allow for encounters with spotted owls, marbled murrelets, deer and elk. Follow the Giant Spruce Trail, which leads past trees as large as 10 feet in diameter, and at low tide, check out the marine garden. Visitors who take the Overlook Road to the West Shelter, just north of the Visitor Center, will be rewarded with arguably the most stunning view along the Oregon coast. For more information, call (541) 547-3289.