Cape Perpetua

Leaving Newport and heading south down the Coastal Highway, there are so many great things to see and stops to make.  We were on our way to Florence, which is a little over an hour drive, but we had a few stops planned along the way.  Cape Perpetua was our first stop for the day.  After making the turn-off for this scenic location and driving the extremely curvy uphill road, we arrived in the parking lot far above the ocean.  Cape Perpetua is a forested headland, with its highest point rising to over 800 feet above sea level.  Our short hike on the steep bluff took us through old growth spruce and Douglas fir to an amazing view.  

The trail led to the West Shelter observation point, a stone hut constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corp sometime in the 1930s.  To take advantage of the height of the promontory, the West Shelter was used as a coastal watch station during World War II and a large coastal defense gun was temporarily installed.  With the ability to see over 30 miles out to sea on a clear day, it was obvious why this spot was chosen.  Our day wasn't clear, but the views were still spectacular.  The image below was taken from inside the West Shelter looking south down the coastline.  

The network of trials in this scenic area was well maintained and a joy to hike.  We didn't have a lot of time to spend here, so there is much more to explore.  Maybe another time...