Otter Rock is a small community approximately seven miles north of Newport, on the Oregon Coast. Nestled next to Depoe Bay, its semi-sheltered beaches are known for their idyllic summer conditions and dramatic winter storms.
The community derives its name from a rock off its coastline that was once a haven for otters. Today, the offshore rocks are part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge and serve as a home for a variety of marine birds, including the endangered brown pelican, seagulls, cormorants and common murres.
Although the rocks are off limits to humans, the waters around the rocks are a favorite location for whitewater kayakers. Kayakers should keep in mind however, that the surf can be rough and unpredictable in this area, especially during storm action.
Known by some as the "Waikiki of Oregon," Otter Rock's history as a surfing destination is legendary. It is considered a favorite place for surfers of all levels, and has several surf shops to prove it. It is known for its long boarding competitions and attracts surfers from around the world.
There are several state parks to visit in the Otter Rock area, including Devil's Punchbowl, which is known for its unusual geology and impressive surf action. The park is a favorite location for storm watching in the winter as well as hiking and picnicking in the summer. Beverly Beach State Park, about 1 mile south of Otter Rock, offers full RV hookups and tent sites, and an enchanting view of the Yaquina Head Lighthouse.
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