Exploring Oregon: The Hidden Gem of Nehalem Bay State Park

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After seeing the stunning Multnomah Falls, we made our way past Portland again and drove further west. Our almost three-hour-long ride took us all the way to the coast-side – a part my friend had been longing to see for a very long time. One of the big destinations on the Oregon Coast is certainly Cannon Beach: Known for it’s giant haystack rocks that are sticking out the water and which supposedly you can climb in the summer time.

Well, it was on our list of things to see, too. But first we made a short detour to a very different beach, which was less than half an hour drive south of Cannon Beach. While doing some research on places worth seeing around there, I stumbled across some gorgeous pictures online of deserted dunes and gory horse paths. Indeed, Nehalem Bay State Park was perhaps one of the best choices we could have made when driving out west. Not only was it a great time of year, since it was way past the tourist season. But it was also deserted by pretty much everyone else, locals included.

On our way, we drove through some pretty thick forest part, with trees as tall as I had never seen them before. We also stopped at a local gas station and saw a dog that was half wolf together with some true hillbillies. Parts of Oregon are just so eerie and backwards, it was almost as if we were on another planet.

Nehalem Bay State Park is not the easiest to get to. But thanks to the GPS we only lost our way once (or twice). As we pulled up to the parking lot, we were the only visitors for the day. Of course it was also two hours before sunset and relatively late.

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We walked along a deep, sandy path and admired the high bushes and vegetation. A few hoof marks here and there indicated it must have been used as a horse path recently. We quickly noticed that this sandy path could easily take us another hour out until we would be seeing any ocean or water. So my friend suggested to dive into the right side of the path, as we were closer to the ocean that way (think of it as a long peninsula sticking out into the water, making the sides more accessible to the water). Well, there was no set path really but we fought with some serious sand bushes, which were taller than our heads. At one point I also thought I heard other people around us but we literally couldn’t see much further than a few feet ahead.

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Perhaps 15 minutes later we were on top of a large sand dune and witnessed one of the best views so far: The Pacific Ocean reaching out not far from us, just a few more sand dunes ahead. My friend almost sprinted to the water. It was her first time seeing and touching the Pacific saltwater.

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One hour before sunset, Nehalem Beach was one of the most gorgeous places I could have imagined on our day out in the nature. The colors were just right, the sand sparkled purely white in the sun and the ocean was crystal clear with a turquoise undertone.

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It was almost more breathtaking than any Caribbean Beach I have ever been to. I wonder how it looks like in the summer, when there must be more people here. Although I almost feel like the part we discovered was well hidden from any tourist eye. We couldn’t discover any path leading to it, which also means not too many people probably wander over here.

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As we made our way back, we found out that on the other side of the first path there was a more general beach area. Discovering this hidden gem and deserted place was one of the best things that happened to us!

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