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Newport Bayfront Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Yaquina Bay Bridge from the Newport Bayfront (bobcat)
Sea lions at Dock One, Newport Bayfront (bobcat)
Moby Dick mural, Newport Bayfront (bobcat)
The Yaquina Bay Coast Guard Station (bobcat)
The Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, Newport (bobcat)
The hike to the beach from the Newport Bayfront (bobcat) Courtesy: Google Maps
  • Start point: Bay Boulevard TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Yaquina Bay Lighthouse
  • Trail log:
  • Hike Type: Lollipop Loop
  • Distance: 2.6 miles
  • Elevation gain: 140 feet
  • High Point: 100 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: Year round
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: Yes

Contents

Hike Description

Newport's historic bayfront is the major tourist destination in these parts and can be jam-packed with sightseers most times of the year, but especially during school breaks and the summer. The cacophony of quarreling sea lions and the odor of fish add a rich ambience to Bay Boulevard, which runs along the harbor with tourist shops and attractions on one side and an aquarium and commercial seafood processing plants on the other. To escape this melee, you can continue towards the bay mouth and take a trail that leads from the Coast Guard Station down under the imposing and elegant Yaquina Bay Bridge to the North Jetty. Circle back across the beach to take a short, leafy trail up to Newport's oldest building, the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, before returning to the crowds along the bay shore. This hike can be combined with the Newport Beach Hike for a longer outing.

Start walking along the bay front with the harbor on your left. The Yaquina Bay Bridge dominates the skyline ahead. Soon you'll pass Bay Boulevard's junction with Hatfield Drive. There's a shrimp processing plant on your left and Ripley's Believe or Not! Odditorium and the Wax Museum on the right. The next attraction is the Oregon Undersea Gardens. Just past the aquarium, Dock One leads out. California sea lions, one of the bayfront's big attractions (for tourists, not fishermen) may be basking and causing a commotion below. Continue walking down Bay Boulevard to pass the junction with Fall Street. You'll pass canneries and seafood processing plants on the bay side, some with attractive murals and all exuding the heady aroma of fresh fish; on the other side of the street, there's a string of shops purveying the usual seashore commodities: knickknacks, kites, taffy, ice-cream, candles, etc.

Bay Boulevard makes a sharp right turn uphill and meets Harbor Way/Naterlin Drive. Turn left here to follow the sidewalk on Naterlin Drive above the U.S. Coast Guard Station. Past the Coast Guard complex, you'll see a sign for the Yaquina Bay Beach Trail. Pass through a fence and down through Coast Guard property. Under the towering Yaquina Bay Bridge, a gravel path leads along riprap. Get great views of the bridge from here. Willows overhang the path and sometimes impede passage. At a washout, hop the rocks and then head up into the grassy dune area and out to the southern end of Nye Beach. You can walk out to the North Jetty, but don't go too far: sneaker waves have often pulled people into the surging swells here. Look for seals and seabirds in the 300-foot wide passage between the North Jetty and the South Jetty.

To complete a lollipop loop, return to the dunes and pick up one of the trails leading into a thicket of shore pine, twinberry, salal, and thimbleberry. The trails head up some steps and switchbacks to the road that circles around Yaquina Bay State Recreation Site (If the north trail is under water, take the trail a little farther south). Go right past the pine-shaded picnic area to a viewpoint at the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse Trailhead overlooking the entrance to Yaquina Bay and the Yaquina Bay Bridge, as well as the jetties and South Beach. If you're here in the afternoon, you can hike up to the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse for a tour: the lighthouse is only open 12 - 4, however. This is the only wood lighthouse in Oregon and, constructed in 1871, it is Newport's oldest building. Opposite the viewpoint, there’s a covered information kiosk here with information about the lighthouse, the bay, and local shipwrecks. Go left past the restrooms and find the Fishermen’s Memorial Pavilion, with an inscribed altar of all those who have lost their lives at sea. Walk behind this into a dense salal, rhododendron, wax-myrtle, evergreen huckleberry thicket and take paved trails that lead to the right and up over the knoll behind the lighthouse, passing some abandoned picnic sites.

Drop to the entrance road and go left. This takes you down and under the Yaquina Bay Bridge to the sidewalk leading down past the turn off for the Yaquina Bay Beach Trail and the Coast Guard Station. From here, return along Bay Boulevard to your vehicle. A diversion from this route would be to walk to the center of the bridge itself to catch commanding views of Yaquina Bay.


Maps

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • Dogs on leash
  • Public restrooms between Fall Street and the Coast Guard Station; also at Yaquina Bay State Recreation Site
  • Don't feed the sea lions

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

Note: The guidebooks do not describe this hike exactly, but do address some points of interest.

  • 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Oregon Coast & Coast Range by William L. Sullivan
  • Oregon Coast Trail: Hiking Inn to Inn by Jack D. Remington
  • Trips & Trails: Oregon by William L. Sullivan
  • Hiking Oregon's History by William L. Sullivan
  • Oregon Hiking by Sean Patrick Hill
  • Oregon's Best Coastal Beaches by Dick Trout
  • Oregon State Parks: A Complete Recreation Guide by Jan Bannan

More Links


Contributors

Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.