Tillamook Coast Life Blog
Top 10 Tillamook Coast Oddities
On a stormy day, there is something quite mystical about spending time on the Tillamook Coast. We have some of the most unusual trees, shortest lighthouse, and even a mysterious shipwreck! Join us as we list our Top 10 Tillamook Coast Oddities found within our forests and shorelines.
- Neskowin’s Ghost Forest
Experience the remains of Neskowin’s 2,000-year-old Ghost Forest. These 200-foot Sitka trees were likely buried from a landslide caused by a tsunami. However, it’s anyone’s guess as to how the trees died, as it happened before written history.
- Rockaway Beach’s Giant Western Red Cedar
Follow the hidden trail off Highway 101 in Rockaway Beach that leads you through a bog area of old growth Western Red Cedar trees. At the end of the 1-mile trail, stands one of the tallest western red cedars in the region. The Ascending Giant measures in at 154 feet, with a circumference of 49 feet, and is part of the 45-acre Old Growth Cedar Wetland Preserve. This unique specimen can be examined from a boardwalk platform that allows you to step back and enjoy in its magnificence.
- Tillamook’s Munson Creek Falls
As you turn off Highway 101 toward Munson Creek Falls, you might think you have made a wrong turn. Continue past the farm houses and you will find an unassuming state park with the tallest waterfall on the Oregon Coast! Munson Creek Falls tumbles down three tiers for an impressive 319 feet drop!
- Cape Meares Octopus Tree
Only a few hundred feet from Cape Meares Lighthouse stands the 300-year-old Octopus Tree. Measuring in at 46 feet in circumference, the Octopus Tree is named for its many long tendril-like branches which extend as far as 16 feet horizontally before lurching upward toward the sky and extending to a height of 105 feet. Once featured in Ripley’s Believe It or Not, it was described as one of the Modern Wonders of the World. Come see this mysterious tree for yourself and be amazed!
- Rockaway Beach’s Emily G. Reed Shipwreck
On Valentine’s Day in 1908, the Emily G. Reed, a modified Clipper Ship, was bound for Portland from New Castle, Australia. The ship encountered heavy rain and rough seas and ran aground at the mouth of Nehalem Bay. The 28-year-old 215-foot ship wrecked after being out to sea for 102 days. The shipwreck lies buried beneath the sand at Rockaway Beach, and on a stormy day not unlike the one that claimed her, she appears!
- Cape Meares’ Sitka Spruce
Oregon’s champion Sitka Spruce dubbed “Big Spruce” is the largest of its species in the state and is located within walking distance from Cape Meares Lighthouse. The giant tree stands 144 feet tall and measures 48 feet in circumference and 15.5 feet in diameter and is estimated to be 800-years old! Big Spruce was designated as the largest of its kind on the Oregon Coast and is the 10th largest in the entire world, measuring in at a whopping 9,030 cubic feet!
- Rockaway Beach’s Largest Corndog
You can’t miss the giant hot dog on a stick on the top of the Pronto Pup restaurant. The Pronto Pup was invented by a husband and wife team in the late 1930s in Rockaway Beach, Oregon. It was here that the Boyington’s ran a regular hot dog stand on the beach appealing to the tourist crowd. When the rain ruined the buns, they came up with the idea of cooking a “bun” as needed by coating the dog with a cornbread batter and deep frying it. It wasn’t long before the “pronto pup” was born and took off. Now after seven decades, the Pronto Pup is back at Rockaway Beach!
- Garibaldi’s Ghost Hole
When driving Highway 101 on the approach to Garibaldi, residents and tourists alike succumb to the spectacle at Garibaldi’s Ghost Hole. Drivers slow down automatically, not because of the turns in the road, but to see the bay packed with fishing boats. There are several legends surrounding the ghoulish name, the Ghost Hole, from violent murders to a thousand-pound catch. With the original name for Tillamook Bay being “Murderer’s Harbor,” and the large sturgeon that reside there, it’s anyone’s guess.
- Tillamook Air Museum
Located south of Tillamook you will find an authentic World War II blimp hangar which today operates as the Tillamook Air Museum. You can’t miss it, as Tillamook Air Museum is spelled out on the roof in the largest documented use of the popular Helvetica font! Step inside the largest clear-span wooden structure in the entire world to explore artifacts and airplanes. The structure was originally built to house blimps which were deployed to spot enemy submarines up and down the Oregon Coast.
- Cape Meares Lighthouse
It’s a short hike away to Cape Meares Lighthouse, recognized as Oregon’s shortest lighthouse. It is also home to Oregon’s largest Sitka Spruce tree. The photo opportunities here are endless! Say cheese in front of the Octopus Tree with its protruding arms waving up to the sky. Take a picture with giant sea cliffs in the background. The view from Cape Meares Lighthouse is breathtaking. Here the kids can use the periscope to look for one of the hundreds of seabirds!