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Packing a Punch
Published: 12/13/2009
 
The Devil
The Devil's Punchbowl viewpoint at Otter Rock offers views into the natural rock formation that can become a churning cauldron of foam when the surf is up.
Photo by Gary Hayes

At Otter Rock, a unique natural rock formation makes for great wild wave watching suited to its name: Devil's Punchbowl.

If you want to find an unusual place that strikes you with a sense of wonder and awe, then Devil's Punchbowl State Park is a perfect choice. Wild winds and thunderous waves of the beautifully rugged Oregon coast have sculpted the sandstone headland into a giant cauldron where foamy waves crash and roiling waters surge with the tides within the giant crater. Standing at the edge of the Punchbowl is mesmerizing, as breakers rush to the surrounding rocks and waters entering the cauldron through the original hole on the west side. Devil's Punchbowl was formed when the roof of what was once a sea cave collapsed, leaving a huge open crater. Seals and sea lions snooze on nearby rocks and many varieties of seabirds roost on lofty perches. Gray Whales are frequently seen in the area as they feed in kelp beds close to shore. Devil's Punchbowl State Park is at Otter Rock, about four miles south of Depoe Bay and nine miles north of Newport. There is plenty of parking at the overlook with convenient picnic spots. While you're there, don't miss a visit to the adjacent Flying Dutchman Winery where you can taste and purchase award-winning wines made right there. - By Stella Bennett

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