About Yaquina Head
Jutting into the Pacific Ocean, Yaquina Head is battered and scoured by waves, wind, and rain. The headland is a lava flow which originated 14 million years ago in eastern Washington and Oregon and travelled 300 miles before reaching the ocean. The lava then cooled to form basalt rock which refuses to be worn away as quickly as the surrounding sandstone and other rock. The bordering sandy beaches continue to recede, while Yaquina Head endures.
People have visited Yaquina Head for thousands of years. Layers of shell debris attest to native people's taste for the mussels and other seafood found here more than 4,000 years ago. Oregon's tallest and second oldest continually active lighthouse has illuminated this promontory since 1873. The hard basalt which forms the headland was quarried and crushed to build local roads and driveways.
In 1980, Congress created the 100-acre Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area. It is managed by the Bureau of Land Management to protect its unique scenic, scientific, educational, and recreational values for your enjoyment and the enjoyment of future generations. Cooperating in this endeavor are the State of Oregon, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Coast Guard.
Directions to BLM Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area
Yaquina Head is located on the central coast of Oregon at the north end of Newport.
Newport is located 55 miles west of Corvallis on the central Oregon coast. Take Hwy. 20 to U.S. Hwy. 101 to Newport. Turn right onto Hwy. 101 and proceed north 4½ miles to Lighthouse Drive and turn left to the entry of Yaquina Head.
Driving from the north on Hwy. 101, turn right onto Lighthouse Drive approximately ½ mile south of the Newport city limit sign.
There are signs on the highway and at the turnoff to help direct you to Yaquina Head.
A major feature of the interpretive center and trails is the accessibility of the displays. Signs and displays have as many tactile and audio components as possible. The lighthouse trail along the western edge of the headland to the lighthouse, the observation areas overlooking Cobble Beach, behind the lighthouse and in Quarry Cove are wheelchair accessible.