Mile 226 Report

December 20, 2018
by gsmeyer

Otter Crest, State Wayside
Thursday 4:00 PM
Party cloudy
49° F
Calm/Light from the W
Tide Level:
0.6 ft
Humans / Pets:
Apparent Violations:
Note: litter checked above refers to beer cans and bottles dumped off Otter Crest Loop between 12/20/18 and 1/1/19. Location is next to a small pull-out with a small flat area next to the guard rail. Attached photo will help establish location. Drop-off from there is nearly vertical into the ocean. A large pyramidal sea stack lies directly offshore. Direct access for litter removal is dangerous, it perhaps being safest to use a basket attached to a pole to remove items.
Activity Comments:
Nobody was parked in the only access site at the north end of the mile. The only cars parked were at the Lookout at Otter Crest State Wayside where no more than four people at a time were observing the ocean.
Notable Wildlife:
The only notable wildlife was harbor seals on the rocks just south of the south end of the mile.
Dead Birds:
Fish & Invertebrates:
Small rocks
New Development:
None observed. This mile consists almost entirely of a basalt-cliffed shoreline which is very difficult to access, so that human modifications would be difficult.
Natural Changes:
Note that very few observable natural changes have occurred on this very resistant shoreline over my decade or so of observation.

An appropriate comment for this mile is that there is a profound lack of change with time which has primarily to do with the resistance of the basalt to wave erosion.


Human activities consisted primarily of people parking at the Lookout and dashing out to quickly snap photos of the spectacular scenery.  Wildlife was notable by its absence.  And, no physical changes were observed.  Note the addition on 1/3/19 of a concern regarding litter (see page 2) for which cleanup is recommended.  A photo showing the litter and its location context has been included below.

  • Litter off Otter Crest Loop
    Beer cans and bottles dumped off of Otter Crest Loop next to ocean viewing location.
    Litter is a few feet south of the flat area on the outboard side of the railing where there is a near vertical drop-off into the ocean several hundred feet below. There is a small parking area there for one or two vehicles. Besides the litter, the photo shows the Lookout building in the background, an outside bend in the road, a section of railing, and a small road cut, all of which should help establish location. Also, a prominent pyramidal sea stack is located directly offshore.
    January 1, 2019
Other Mile 226 Reports (43)


June 21, 2019 - gsmeyer
The summer solstice provided a nice day for the numerous tourists visiting Otter Crest Wayside, where there were about fifteen vehicles in the parking area and approximately 35 people at the...
March 21, 2019 - gsmeyer
There were no human activities noted below the level of the Lookout, some 500 feet above sea level, where there were several cars and a few people.  Very little was visible along the shoreline as the...
  • Headland at north end of mile 226


September 21, 2018 - gsmeyer
As is usual, no people were observed directly along the shoreline of this mile where access is very difficult and dangerous. But, there were a number of vehicles parked at the Lookout at Otter Crest...
  • View north from Lookout
  • Rocky cove just north of Lookout.
June 20, 2018 - gsmeyer
Tourist season is in full swing on the Oregon Coast! The Lookout parking lot was full, the gift shop was crowded, observation sites were busy, most people were seeing the two whales right below, and...
March 20, 2018 - gsmeyer
The only human activity was at the lookout where several people were observed at the observation points overlooking the ocean. Note also the three people observed trespassing beyond the locked gate...


December 21, 2017 - gsmeyer
Human activity was confined to The Lookout (Otter Crest Wayside State Park), where there were several people inside the building and at the viewing area to the south.  While inside the building, I...
June 20, 2017 - gsmeyer
All humans were either along Otter Crest Loop Road driving and occasionally getting out of their cars to enjoy the scenery or at the Lookout at observation points or in the interpretive center/gift...
March 18, 2017 - gsmeyer
March 16th was a rare mostly sunny and calm day for this time of year, attracting a small but enthusiastic group of visitors to the Lookout at the Otter Crest State Wayside. Views were amazing, as...


December 21, 2016 - gsmeyer
During the time of obsevation, the sun was shining and the large, crashing waves were beautifully illuminated.  Despite this, nobody was at the shoreline access point just beyond the north end of the...
June 17, 2016 - gsmeyer
One vehicle was parked in a location such that the north end of the mile could have been accessed, but nobody was observed on the shoreline of the mile. A number of people were at the Lookout at the...
  • View to north from Lookout building, noting bands of foam, pocket beach, and cliff face - to right - where cormorants are nesting.
March 28, 2016 - gsmeyer
It was cool, mostly sunny, and still calm at 10:30 a.m., so it was a beautiful morning to view the ocean. I looked for whales, but none were observed. There was also a paucity of the usual seabirds,...


December 24, 2015 - gsmeyer
Very little human activity was observed and only at the Lookout, attributable to the inclement weather. No wildlife of note was observed, except for one eagle. No physical changes were observed. Note...
September 19, 2015 - gsmeyer
Human activity was focused at the Lookout, where gray whales were being observed. No notable wildlife was observed along the shoreline, though at least two of the whales were quite close. No...
June 16, 2015 - gsmeyer
The only human activity observed was at Otter Crest State Wayside, well above the ocean. Six or seven vehicles were parked at this location. The only notable wildlife observed was nesting pelagic...
April 2, 2015 - gsmeyer
Two vehicles were parked near north end of mile, but nobody was observed along the shoreline below, though there were some signs of human activity - plastic chairs and tiki torches - on the terrace...


December 22, 2014 - gsmeyer
Human activity was confined to the Lookout area, but there was very little of it due to closure of the state park visitor center for the week. Shoreline wildlife consisted of a very few flying gulls...
  • Wave crashing on sea cliff on Otter Crest headland, splash rising to about 50 feet.  Location just below and directly west of state park visitor center.  View is from south at the Inn at Otter Crest.
  • Wave crashing on sea cliff and splashing to over 40 feet just before high tide/King Tide event, just below and directly north of state park visitor center at Otter Crest.  View is from east along Otter Crest Loop (old highway 101).
September 19, 2014 - gsmeyer
Numerous vehicles, including RVs, were traveling along the one-way portion of Otter Crest Loop, with a number of people stopping and photographing the ocean and looking for whales. Significant...
  • Phytoplankton-derived foam aggregated into wind-driven bands as viewed looking north from Lookout.
June 16, 2014 - gsmeyer
The only human activity was that noted at Otter Crest State Wayside where it is apparent that tourist season is definitely underway. The only wildlife observed were two cormorants plus ubiquitous...
April 11, 2014 - gsmeyer
Aside from the two fishermen at the north end of the mile, the only human activity was at the state park lookout near the south end of the mile, from which much of the shoreline of the mile can be...
  • View to NNW of north end of mile 226 from viewing area in Lookout at Otter Crest State Wayside.


December 21, 2013 - gsmeyer
There was essentially no human activity. Wildlife was notable by its absence. (Very little is typically observed.) The driftline could not be observed as the tide was high and the ocean was rough...
  • North coastline of mile 226 on a slightly foggy, overcast day as viewed from the "new" viewing area in the interior of the Lookout at Otter Crest State Wayside
September 21, 2013 - gsmeyer
Two people were fishing from the rocks at the north end of Mile 226 and had a pickup in the access parking area on Otter Crest Loop there. There were two to three cars at the Lookout parking area...
  • View south on mile 226 from location below illustrating rocky cliffed coastline, with the Lookout in middle distance (just north of south end of mile 226) with Devil's Punchbowl farther and Yaquina Head in greatest distance.
July 5, 2013 - gsmeyer
Two cars were observed in parking above access trail near north end of mile and two people were observed on the rocks at only direct access point to mile, presumably fishing. Several cars were...
March 21, 2013 - gsmeyer
No more than five vehicles were parked at any one time at the Lookout at Otter Crest. Most people were in the gift shop. One other walker besides ourselves was observed on the one-way section of...


September 24, 2012 - gsmeyer
Nobody was observed close to the shoreline, most of which is quite inaccessible anyway. Several people were at Otter Crest looking at the ocean. Very little was observed otherwise.
June 21, 2012 - gsmeyer
No human activity was observed along this mile at the shoreline. Very little wildlife was observed and there was nothing observed where rare segments of driftline existed or were observable. No...
March 22, 2012 - gsmeyer
Nothing out of the ordinary was observed. There were two vehicles parked along the road (Otter Crest Loop) at the north end of mile 226 and I observed three people fishing from the rocks at the only...


December 21, 2011 - gsmeyer
Human activity on the shoreline was nonexistent, but several people were observed at "Cape Foulweather" and along Otter Crest Loop. There were no wildlife observations along the shoreline nor were...
September 21, 2011 - gsmeyer
Nobody was parked on Old Hwy. 101 along this mile except for numerous vehicles at the Lookout. And, this is where all of the people were. It appears as though there is commonly enough activity here...
June 21, 2011 - gsmeyer
Significant human activity was concentrated at the Lookout at Otter Crest, some 500 feet above the ocean, and was focused on the grey whale activity below and to the southwest. Two people were...
April 2, 2011 - gsmeyer
Nothing noticeable has changed in the past several months and human activity was at an absolute minimum, especially considering how nice of a day it was. Very little wildlife activity was noted,...


December 21, 2010 - gsmeyer
It was a cool, cloudy and breezy day with high tide and fairly high surf. Activity, both human and by wildlife, was at a minimum.Nobody was parked at any site other than the gift shop, and nobody...
September 22, 2010 - gsmeyer
Notable was the number of tourists at the lookout and along old Hwy. 101. The pleasant day and the gray whales were significant attractions along this spectacular segment of the Oregon coast.
June 11, 2010 - gsmeyer
The most notable observation since my Coastwatch observations began was the large number of pelagic cormorants observed nesting on cliff faces. I have not seen them previously, but my earlier...
March 22, 2010 - gsmeyer
Human activities were confined to Old Hwy. 101 and to the area of the Otter Crest Lookout, where whale watching on a nice sunny day was a popular pursuit. No human activity was observed on or near...


December 24, 2009 - gsmeyer
No changes noted to this mile of mostly vertical cliffs in basalt, making access, and thus disturbance, fortunately difficult and rare.
September 24, 2009 - gsmeyer
No human activity was occurring save for those persons driving and stopping briefly along Otter Crest loop. Wildlife activities not seen previously by me on mile 226 were harbor seals diving...
March 21, 2009 - gsmeyer
I observed a total of six people fishing off the rocks with some success. There were no fishing boats observed. The area experiences little physical change, though the one rockfall deposit appears...


December 28, 2008 - gsmeyer
As has been the case previously, there is essentially no human or wildlife activity and physical changes are very minimal.
October 1, 2008 - gsmeyer
There was essentially no observable change in this rugged, basalt-cliffed area since the last report.
June 21, 2008 - gsmeyer
Mile 226 shows very little sign of human impacts due mostly to its inaccessibility: minimal access of bluffs from Otter Crest Loop and then extremely limited access from bluffs to shore.
March 22, 2008 - gsmeyer
No obvious changes since last report but a little more use than observed previously, probably because of the nice day and it being a Saturday. But, use still limited due to relative inaccessibility.
January 1, 2008 - gsmeyer
We are impressed with the scenic attributes of this rugged area and hope that its inaccessibility will continue to promote its preservation in an unspoiled state.


September 20, 2007 - Geoshe
We stopped at various points along Otter Crest Loop Road to do initial obsrvations with binoculars, since there is no beach access. These are baseline observations, and any changes will be noted...