Tips December 15, 2021

The Most Iconic Rock Formations in Oregon – From Cannon Beach to Thor’s Well

Living near the Pacific coast guarantees several things. For starters, you can almost always count on changeable weather and strong winds. At the same time, the stunning scenery is worth all the unpredictable weather – glamorous sunsets, vast night skies, and a dramatic coastline. Yes, please!

Another of the most notorious Oregon landmarks is its geological formations scattered around the state. You’ll find many along the coastal area and even some continental areas of Oregon boast of a few astounding geological specimens.

If you are considering moving near the coast, try looking at homes for sale in Newport, OR.


Cannon Beach Coastal Area

When stepping onto this spectacular shoreline, searching for a place to walk and relax, you will find peace of mind you could only have dreamed of.

The landscape on the beach itself is dominated by Haystack Rock, a 235 feet tall basalt formation. During summertime and low tide, visitors can access it easily, and many tourists surround it every day, taking pictures of its recognizable structure.

The best view of the whole area can be seen from Ecola State Park. Its Twin Peaks vibe culminates on several viewpoints, where you can watch over the rocks and contemplate where to begin buying a home in Newport, OR or looking for homes for sale in Newport.

Even though this area was named after the historical cannon that was found in the nineteenth century, leftover from a shipwreck, this giant rock does somewhat resemble a cannonball in retirement.

If you decide to ask brokers in Newport to help you find a new home to settle in, Cannon Beach is only a quick drive away.


Columbia River Gorge

Heading east and past Mt Hood, around 45 minutes drive from Portland, you will find one of the most popular hiking areas in Oregon. The French word for the throat (“gorge”) is used to describe this narrow yet spectacular canyon, marking the line between Oregon and Washington. It is considered to be the largest national scenic area in the entire country, covering a whopping 90 mile-long territory.

The gorge is most famous for its scenic diversity, including both rainforest and almost-a-desert dry grasslands in only 90 miles. From bigleaf maple, to grasslands, to lodgepole, you’ll find a vast array of foliage to appreciate. The Columbia River Gorge was formed by massive lava flows and icy floods thousands of years ago, which is why its rock formations look both impressive and appalling at once. The most famous formation among them is Crown Point, a headland located in eastern Multnomah County.

Whether you’re into hiking, biking, skiing, fishing, or boardsailing, these rocky mountain landscapes are among the most prominent in the United States. If you live or look for homes for sale in Newport, OR, bear in mind that this area is almost 200 miles away, so we suggest you plan a few days trip when visiting.


Painted Hills

No, this is not Peru, and this is not Morrocco, either – it is Oregon at its best! Considered to be one of the 7 wonders of this Pacific state, The Painted Hills geological site is something truly unique. Being another proof of Oregon’s natural diversity, it is located in eastern Oregon, about a two-hour drive from Bend.

The surface of these hills is made of colorful layers, telling a 35 million-year-old story. The climate changes throughout history have made these colors so different and vivid. Moreover, the vivid layers preserve thousands of fossils, making this an important area for different scientific disciplines.

However, you don’t need to be a scientist to enjoy it. It is enough to come during an afternoon in the late fall when climate and colors are most suitable for a visit. There are five available trails, all very convenient for an easy, yet extraordinary hike, and each offers stunning overlooks of the glorious, multicolored hills.


Thor’s Well

Another iconic coastal gem and natural wonder located near Yachats, OR is a literal hole in the rock, whose both name and looks evoke an ancient myth. For those considering looking for land for sale in Newport, OR, and moving there, they might be gladdened to know that Thor’s Well is only 27 miles to the South.

Other recognizable names for this spot are the Drainpipe of the Pacific, the Gate to Hell, and Gaping Sinkhole. Although it seems bottomless and enormous, the sinkhole is, in fact, only 20 feet deep. For most of the day, Thor’s Well is either full of water or empty, although, there is a short period each day when it fills up with water, and the best time to visit it is one hour before the tide; that’s when the show begins. People say it looks as though the ocean will be drained away.

This sharp, volcanic formation is actually an old sea cave that had collapsed, creating a pipe made out of basalt. The mechanism that works in it is pretty simple, yet amazing: the waves roll in from underneath, filling it from the bottom, until the water rolls back into the hole. It looks like Thor’s Well fills and drains endlessly, and this visual symphony, directed by the wild Pacific Ocean itself, is what makes visitors so enchanted.


Pillars of Rome

Another unusual Oregon landscape adds an antique feeling to the atmosphere. Located closer to the borders of Idaho and Nevada than to the Pacific Coast, it does bring an entirely different feeling – empty, deserted, and lonely.

The Pillars of Rome is a geological site measuring five miles long and stretching 100 feet tall, contrived of clay cliffs. These cliffs truly bear a resemblance to ancient Roman architecture, and the pillars make one think of being in the middle of the Roman Forum, admiring its columns and gates, made nearly 3000 years ago.

Splendidly, Hiking is not the only activity one can pursue here. For those who are into rafting and kayaking, the nearby Owyhee River is just the place to explore. Its Canyonlands cover more than 2 million acres, making it a true hidden gem of Oregon’s oversized, natural beauty.

When you feel satiated by the coastal abundance, take a weekend drive of about 8 hours east and lose yourself in the desert wilderness. It certainly is not something that real estate agencies in Newport, OR will advertise every weekend, however, it is always good to have options for an occasional escape.


Cape Foulweather

Finally, we find it quite appropriate to finish the list of Oregon’s rocky formations with another coastal attraction, since this state is still best-known for the Pacific Ocean. Just a mere 15 minutes drive from homes for sale in Newport lies Cape Foulweather.

These basalt rocks are situated on a cliff about 500 feet above the water, and are notorious for being the landing spot for Captain James Cooke. Being called the place “where Oregon began,” you can expect to find an open, breathtaking viewpoint. It is one of the most popular tourist spots in the state, offering people the chance to enjoy the rough and sometimes fierce, yet spectacular ocean.