Things to Do at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area
Click on the links below to learn more about things to do in the park.
Natural Highlights of Yaquina Head
Visit our amazing tide pools at low tide, get a close-up view of harbor seals relaxing in Quarry Cove, gaze out across the Pacific Ocean from the top of Salal Hill, and imagine the powerful geologic forces that created our basalt headland. Look for whales spouting off the headland or enjoy a day of birding.
Walking Trails (PDF)
Yaquina Head has several easy to moderate walking trails, all less than 0.5 miles each way, that let you explore every corner of the park. Salal Hill Trail zig-zags up the face of the hill with increasingly beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean. The trail to Quarry Cove takes you through grassy open areas with excellent bird watching opportunities, while Communications Hill Trail winds up into a sitka spruce/Douglas-fir forest that shields you from the ocean breezes and then opens up with a view south to Cape Perpetua.
Oregon Coast Quests (45 minutes for each Quest)
Yaquina Head has three Quests that give our visitors a comprehensive view of the history and management of this breathtaking park. Quests are clue-directed hunts that encourage exploration of natural areas. "Questers" follow a series of word clues and learn about the environment. Once all the clues are found, the secret location is revealed - a box where visitors can sign their name and get the official Yaquina Head quest stamp. Try the History Quest (PDF). Quest booklets and handouts are also available at the Information Desk in the Interpretive Center.
Learn more about the natural history of Yaquina Head, the process of building the lighthouse, and the families that lived here through our exhibits and videos. There are games and activities for young visitors and a non-profit gift store operated by Friends of Yaquina Lighthouses.
The lighthouse is open for ranger-led tours. A limit of 16 visitors per tour applies. Passes for the tours are available on a first-come, first-serve basis and must be reserved in person at the Interpretive Center no earlier than 10 am on the day of the tour. Tours are available from 12 noon to 3:00 pm Thursday through Tuesday. No tours offered on Wednesdays.
Please keep in mind: The climb is strenuous! Visitors with heart, respiratory or other medical conditions, or who have trouble climbing stairs, should use their own discretion as to whether to climb the tower. The lighthouse may close at any time if weather conditions are unsafe.
The following safety rules apply:
- Children must be at least 42" tall and capable of climbing all steps on their own.
- Children under 12 must be escorted by someone 16 years of age or older.
- No person may be lifted or carried.
- Running, jumping, or stomping on stairs and landings is prohibited.
- Smoke, food and drink are not allowed.
- No pets; service animals are permitted.
- Do not arrive in heels over 1 1/2 inches high, flip flops, or in bare feet.
- Please leave large backpacks, tripods, balls, etc. in your vehicle.