The West Coast isn’t short on scenic drives. This area of the country offers stunning views of crashing waves on rocky shorelines and lush forests on cliffsides. One of the most famous highways is Highway 101, stretching from Los Angeles, California, to Tumwater, Washington. Along this highway, travelers can witness magnificent scenery without buildings or towers obstructing the view on Neahkahnie Viewpoint.
If traveling through Oregon on Highway 101, you must stop at Neahkahnie Viewpoint. It’s everything you want in an overlook. Don’t forget to grab your camera; it’s breathtaking! Let’s learn more about this scenic overlook!
Where Is the Neahkahnie Viewpoint?
Sitting along Highway 101 in western Oregon, the Neahkahnie Viewpoint is north of Manzanita. From here, you can see Neahkahnie Beach.
If you continue to drive north along Highway 101, you’ll pass through Oswald West State Park, where you can hike miles of trails or enjoy a day in the sun at Short Sand Beach. From Portland, the Neahkahnie Viewpoint is about a 90-minute drive northwest.
What’s So Special About the Neahkahnie Viewpoint?
Oregon has over 300 miles of coastline. Along this stretch of Highway 101, there are numerous pull-outs and overlooks offering travelers awe-inspiring views of the Pacific Coast and its sandy beaches below.
One reason Neahkahnie Viewpoint is so popular is the ease of accessibility. There are many parking spaces, so you don’t have to pass by the pull-out because of the lack of parking. There are also informational signs explaining the history and legends of Neahkahnie Mountain.
However, most travelers don’t stop because of the informational signs. Although they help provide perspective on the land, people stop because of the jaw-dropping view. The blue waters of the Pacific meet the sandy Oregon coastline. Meanwhile, the mountains towering in the background create a complete picture of the landscape of the Beaver State.
Traveler’s Tip: Enjoy a visit to the Oldest Town on the Oregon Coast.
Everything You Need to Know About Neahkahnie Viewpoint
When you arrive at the Neahkahnie Viewpoint on Highway 101, we have a few tips to make your visit more enjoyable. But don’t stop here. Continue traveling along the route for more pull-outs and overlooks, giving unique coastline vistas.
If you’re traveling from Portland, take Highway 26 for about 73 miles until it intersects with Highway 101 at the coastline. Take Highway 101 south for about 15 miles until you reach the overlook. If you’re traveling from Tillamook or south of the viewpoint, you’ll take Highway 101 north. From Astoria and north of the Neahkahnie Viewpoint, you’ll take Highway 101 south.
What You’ll See
When arriving at the parking lot, you’ll find informational signs about the mountain. You’ll learn it’s one of the highest points in Oregon at 1,661 feet, and its name translates to “home of the supreme being.” A stone wall provides a barrier, but it doesn’t hinder the view of the coastline.
As you look south from the Neahkahnie Mountain, you feel as though you’re on the edge of the world, taking in the breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean, Oregon’s coastline, and the towering mountains behind it all. You might even glimpse a whale, especially during migration season.
Highway 101 once didn’t include this stretch from Nehalem around Neahkahnie Mountain to the junction of Highway 101 and Highway 26. However, in the late 1930s, construction began on this part of the byway. The overlooks officially opened in 1941.
The stonework around each lookout was not only for function but also to add to the aesthetic beauty of the view. The creators of the barriers carved them from the rock of the mountainside. These walls remind travelers that they are indeed standing on the side of a mountain.
Neahkahnie Mountain is part of Oswald West State Park. If you want an even more beautiful vista, take one of the park’s hiking trails to the mountain. The South Neah-Kah-Nie Mountain Trail is one of the more trendy routes.
This trail is a 2.6-mile out-and-back trail with an 889-foot elevation change. You’ll hike through old-growth forests until you emerge at the summit for a stunning view below.
The North Neah-Kah-Nie Mountain Trail will also take you to the mountain’s summit. It’s longer at 4 miles out and back. The trails are pet-friendly, so feel free to bring your furry friends along on a leash.
What Should I Know About the Neahkahnie Mountain Viewpoint Trail?
The South Neah-Kah-Nie Mountain Trail is quite famous. However, if you’re looking for a loop rather than an out-and-back trail, you can take the south trailhead up the mountain and complete a loop by taking the North Neah-Kah-Nie Mountain Trail down from the summit. Most reviewers claim to finish the hike in about 90 minutes.
Heading from near Nehalem, hike counterclockwise up the Neahkahnie Mountain if taking the north trail. If you’d instead take the south path up and the north trail down, venture to the left and hike clockwise. The north trail contains more switchbacks than the south trail, but both can be pretty challenging with the elevation gain.
What Is the Most Scenic Part of the Oregon Coast?
It’s pretty challenging to rate the views along the Oregon coastline. Whether you’re visiting Astoria, Seaside, or Newport, the magnificent views and quaint coastal towns seem endless.
Cannon Beach is one of the most popular locations. Visitors can walk to Haystack Rock or visit Ecola State Park. Whether you’re paddling, hiking, or tidepooling, the beauty of Oregon is here at Cannon Beach.
Traveler’s Tip: You’ll love visiting These 5 Waterfalls Near Portland, OR, That Are Majestic.
How Many Days Do You Need On An Oregon Coast Road Trip?
Depending on what you want to do and how often you plan to stop, it’s hard to say how long you’ll experience an Oregon coast road trip. You can drive Highway 101 from Astoria in the north to Brookings in the south. This drive will take over seven hours if you don’t stop. However, you’ll want to stop along the way.
To fully enjoy the beauty of the Oregon coast, it’s a good idea to plan at least a weekend stay. If you can spare more time, you’ll enjoy more of the quaint coastal towns and picturesque overlooks along Highway 101. Perhaps choose a few towns to stay in overnight and explore the nearby hiking trails for a memorable week-long vacation.
Is the Neahkahnie Viewpoint Worth It?
You won’t find a better overlook than Neahkahnie Viewpoint in western Oregon. The beautiful blues of the Pacific Ocean contrasted with the sandy shoreline, rocky mountains, and lush forests create an artist’s paradise. The unobstructed views from the overlook or the summit of Neahkahnie Mountain beckon visitors daily.
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