National Parks and their Accessibility Details in Yachats, Oregon

National Parks and their Accessibility Details in Yachats, Oregon

Sitting next to the Pacific Ocean and backed by the Oregon Coast Range, Yachats is located in one of the prettiest areas of the Oregon Coast. So, it should come as no surprise that this small city is dubbed the gem of the Oregon Coast. The surrounding area has several state parks and the Siuslaw National Forest, each taking visitors to a different landscape. Is this stunning city your next holiday destination?

While it looks great, not all areas are easy to discover or explore. Some parks have challenging trails unsuitable for wheelchair users, with poor, uneven paths and steep slopes. As such, we've taken the time to look at all the parks in the area so you can find an accessible one for your needs.

Yachats State Recreation Area

With an accessible viewing platform, the Yachats State Recreation Area offers breathtaking views of this small city and the coastal landscape as a whole. It's a small park that is easy to reach, a simple walk from the city center along Ocean View Road.

Yachats State Recreation Area

Open for day use only, you can enjoy a picnic in the park while you watch the waves crashing ashore. Additionally, whale sightings are also possible, depending on the time of the year. Keeping an eye out for the sea can reveal these majestic creatures.

For more adventures, exploring the rocky tide pools when the waves recede during low tide brings out more biological marvels. Small animals and sealife hide in crevices and pools on the shore. However, it is a steep slope down to the beach. It is advisable to check the tide timetables if you do plan on venturing down to see the tide pools. Tide tables are available in the town if you plan on exploring them.

Getting to the viewpoint from the parking lot is very straightforward as this has paved paths. A step-free restroom is also available on-site near the viewpoint. However, getting to the beach is unclear due to limited wheelchair access. Minimum assistance is needed in some of these areas.

Accessibility details:

  • Two designated accessible parking spaces
  • Flat or gentle slopes to viewpoint
  • Steep slope to the beach
  • Paved paths to the viewpoint
  • Step-free restroom access and sink clearance
  • Poorly placed grab bar in the toilet
  • Visual notifications provided
  • No easy-access seating areas
  • Service dogs are allowed

Devil's Churn Trail

A short, ten-minute drive south from Yachats along Highway 101 will bring you to the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area in the Siuslaw National Forest. Located just north of the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center, you'll find the Devil's Churn Trail.

Devil's Churn Trail, Yachats

This is an ideal trail to witness the waves and sea action that created the Devil's Churn inlet. This deep chasm with a narrow entrance causes the waves to beat on this minor breach. The inlet was likely made from a collapsed lava tube after a volcanic eruption. And, as it gradually collapses and erodes away further, it reveals more of the geological history of the area.

The trail itself covers 1.8 mi (2.9 km) in a loop with an optional partially accessible (to the first overlook) additional 0.4 mi (0.6 km) loop - the Trail of the Whispering Waters. The Devil's Churn is a very popular trail for hiking, but hitting the trail later in the day is usually quieter.

While the entire trail has either wooden boardwalks or paved paths, some return slopes are uneven and not gentle. So, while they are wheelchair accessible, having a companion or assistant on the trail is highly advisable if you want to complete the loop rather than backtracking. Either way, this is an entertaining adventure for a day out.

Accessible parking and a restroom with complete accessibility are available in the parking lot. The restroom offers step-free access, a 33-inch door width, turning space, grab bars, and sink clearance. Once out on the trail, though, there are no more restrooms. There are seating areas along the trail; though not designated, it's all step-free and often located right next to the path.

Accessibility details:

  • Two accessible parking spaces are designated
  • Both steep and gentle slopes
  • Step-free restroom in the parking lot
  • Over 60 in turning space in restrooms
  • Step-free, non-designated seating areas
  • Service dogs permitted
  • Minor assistance is required on some slopes

Cape Perpetua Lookout

It is just the place to go for the best views of the area. Offering the highest viewpoint on the Oregon Coast, this lookout or overlook point is 800 feet above the Pacific Ocean. It's a short distance from the city itself, being just a 10-minute drive.

Cape Perpetua Lookout, Yachats

The Lookout is situated at the top of the headland next to the Cape Perpetua Day Use area and parking lot. It gives a complete view of the coastline and the natural beauty further inland. Sitting up here gives you the perfect view of the Pacific crashing against the rocky and rugged shoreline. There is also the temperate rainforest to view as well.

The parking lot is the trailhead for three trails, but only the Whispering Spruce Trail is wheelchair friendly, and even here, some parts are steep and minor assistance may be required. This 0.25 mi ( 0.4 km) loop takes you to a historic Civilian Conservation Corps rock viewing shelter and provides panoramic sea and forest views.

This Day Use Area is just one tiny part of the enormous Cape Perpetua Scenic Area, which covers an impressive 2700 acres. There are 26 miles (41.8 km) of trails throughout this acreage. While several trails are accessible, some will need assistance or companions as no assistance is provided in this area.

At the Cape Perpetua Lookout itself, though, all areas cater to accessibility needs, so you can navigate the area independently due to the flat, smooth paved paths taking you around. There is a step-free restroom in the parking lot. However, it only has 56 turning spaces but offers grab bars. No additional types of assistance are available in any form.

Accessibility details:

  • No designated parking spaces
  • Step-free parking near the entrance
  • Flat area
  • Easy access to step-free seating areas
  • Step-free restroom in the car park
  • Service dogs are permitted
  • Some paths are inaccessible

Yachats Commons Park

Found in the center of this charming city is the Yachats Commons Park. It's a very picturesque public space with some truly stunning ocean views. The park has lush, vibrant greenery and well-maintained walking trails. It's a great place to come for a picnic or to enjoy a moment of serenity in the gardens.

Yachats Commons Park

This is an excellent spot for visitors, tourists, and locals. In fact, the park is trendy for all who visit the area, as it provides the ideal place for relaxation and enjoying nature.

For the most part, it is easy to get around, thanks to the mostly flat or gently sloped areas. However, some paths are gravel, dirt, or grass, which can make access to some places a little more complicated. Going with companions is a good idea whenever minor assistance is needed.

Throughout the park, there are seating areas provided. While non-designated, they're still step-free and provide easy access for all who visit. Accessing the park is very easy as there is a convenient parking lot. However, designated parking spaces are available.

Accessibility details:

  • Some smooth paths and boardwalks
  • Dirt, gravel, and grass surfaces throughout
  • Easy-access seating areas
  • Gentle slopes
  • Service dogs are allowed

Visit Scenic National Parks around Yachats

As one of the area's gems, Yachats is surrounded by scenic landscapes, including the Suislaw National Forest and other State Parks. Oregon's coastline is already full of stunning views and places to visit, and these National and State parks just add to it. Whether you want a relaxing view of the sea or a more adventurous day out on the trails, there's something for everyone here. Find out more about what to do and see in this area by looking at our travel resources in Yachats.

Immerse yourself in the natural world of the Oregon Coast with visits to the National and State Parks in and around this charming city.