The Forest Service created the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area and built the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center in the 1960s to highlight the unique beauty of the central Oregon coast. The scenic area includes 2,700 acres (11 km2) of old growth spruce, Douglas-fir and western hemlock.
Camping, picnicking, hiking, sightseeing, whale watching, and a visitor center with daily programs are all available within the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area. There are twenty-six miles of interconnected hiking trails in old growth forests which lead to Pacific Ocean tidal pools. One of the trails leads to a 600 year old Giant Sitka Spruce known as the Silent Sentinel of the Siuslaw. This tree stands more than 185 feet (56 m) high, and has a 40-foot (12 m) circumference at its base. On September 15, 2007, this ancient spruce was designated a "Heritage Tree" by the State of Oregon to recognize its exceptional age and size and ensure its protection.
Devil's Churn near Cape Perpetua
Along the Cape Perpetua coastline there are several unique features as well. The Devil’s Churn is a long crack in the coastal rock that fills with each ocean wave, occasionally exploding as incoming and outgoing waves collide. The Spouting Horn (also known as Thor's Well) is a salt water fountain driven by the power of the ocean tide. The Devil’s Churn and the Spouting Horn are popular with visitors; however, both can be dangerous especially at high tide and during winter storms.
The Cape Perpetua Visitor Center is located two miles (3 km) south of Yachats. The visitor center offers spectacular views of the ocean and coast from its deck. It is also a popular place to watch migrating gray whales. The visitor center has comprehensive natural history and cultural exhibits, an interactive children's science area, a theater with nature films, and a bookstore. At the shelter there was never a gun installation. An SCR270B radar was installed on the site in 1943 in response to the bombing of Mt. Emily Brookings Oregon.
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