Coast Explorer Magazine - The Explorer's Guide to the Oregon Coast and Washington Coast
Facebook Email Twitter Instagram Pinterest
Read Coastal Explorer Visit Destinations in Coastal Explorer Coastal Explorer Calendar of Events
Sea Stack Sentinels
Published: 09/18/2009
 
Gary Hayes

Sea stacks, those intriguing rocky spires that create dramatic seascapes when struck by thundering waves, punctuate many areas along the 360 miles of Oregon coastline.

Bandon's beach wouldn't be quite so interesting without Face Rock and Cat and Kittens. One can hardly read a story about Cape Kiwanda or Cannon Beach without a mention of their respective Haystack Rocks. Three Arch Rocks lie a half mile off Oceanside and consist of three large rocks and six smaller ones. At Rockaway Beach, Twin Rocks rise from the sea in morning fog like two ghostly wraiths, and the Three Graces add a special dimension to a sunset on Tillamook Bay. It took nature millions of years and great force to create these spectacular sea stacks. Some of the vertical columns were once part of a headland, but the constant wearing of the ocean's waves eroded thinner and softer areas around a harder core, isolating it from the mainland. Many stacks were the result of volcanic action, with lava flowing to the sea. Cooling lava became hardened basalt over time. The heavy basalt remained buried under marine sediments for millions of years. As the climate shifted and sea level receded, the rocks were revealed and parts worn away by winds and water. Tidepools at the base of many sea stacks provide habitat for a variety of marine creatures. Soil has settled into crevices of some of the sea stacks, building up a soft layer perfect for nesting puffins, murres and other seabirds. Man is working with nature by preserving these precious sites as part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge. All sea stacks are federally protected and are closed to public access. - By Stella Bennett

Search
MORE TO EXPLORE
 
The exchange of vows by the seashore accompanied by coastal breezes and sounds of the surf is the ultimate in... [read more]
A rich history, steeped in culture and exploration, has shaped the iconic Oregon coastal town of Astoria. Today, people continue... [read more]
An abundance of must-see marine exhibits & encounters await you at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport. The Oregon Coast... [read more]
Sponsored Links
  • Seaside
    Featured Destination
    It's easy to Seaside. We don't guard our secrets. Dig in to learn more.
  • Seaside Carousel Mall
    Seaside Activities and Attractions
    An attraction for over 30 years, ride the indoor carousel, unique shopping finds and eateries.
  • Elements By the Sea Spa Hallmark Resort
    Cannon Beach Activities and Attractions
    We offer treatments that restore your signature balance, using creative and advanced techniques.
  • Fort Clatsop - Lewis & Clark National Historical Park
    Astoria Activities and Attractions
    The visitor center features a replica of Fort Clatsop, ranger programs and hiking trails.
Subscribe
to Coast Explorer
Subscribe to Coast Explorer Magazine now and don't miss another issue featuring our beautiful photography and design, interesting feature stories and guides to coastal attractions, events, dining, shopping, arts and lodging. Annual subscriptions (3 issues) are only $15