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Video: Eight Stunning Skies on Oregon Coast - Moody, Startling, Surreal

Published 03/15/2018 at 4:55 PM PDT - Updated 03/15/2018 at 5:25 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection Staff

(Oregon Coast) – Cloudy even crummy weather days on the Oregon coast are not uncommon. It's disheartening for many first-time visitors. Don't give up on those days, however, as the ending hours can present some remarkable surprises. If there are holes in those horizon clouds, you're often in for a treat once the sun starts descending. The skies can be absolutely startling.

Sometimes, if you're lucky, it's caught on video, as seen above.

Video: Eight Stunning Skies on Oregon Coast, Where Moody Meets Startling

It's early summer on the north Oregon coast, and the skies have been rather moody all day. Bouts of sun in the midst of sometimes darkened clouds lead to striking contrasts of sea and sky. All of a sudden, as the day comes to a close, the horizon fires up into vibrant, otherworldly colors, made more eye-popping by the dense, dark clouds surrounding the small gaps that let the light through.

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At Arch Cape, it gets particularly intense, with purples, pinks and shades of red exploding in unique ways.

The next scene is Yachats in mid-spring. Thick clouds have suddenly moved in on an otherwise sunny, upbeat day. The winds have kicked into high gear. This part of the central Oregon coast has gone from sunny to stormy in under an hour.

But on the horizon, as the day wanes, an opening in the skies makes for a searing yellow to come crashing through.

Southern Cannon Beach on a late summer's day. Thin clouds have dominated the sunset, yanking down the contrast and lowering the overall drama. But as the sun gets below a certain point it fights back. Fiery, robust oranges and reds burst into life, and the whole scene looks like a hot summer's day – although it's barely in the high 50s.

This spot sits about a half mile south of the Tolovona beach access, and it's a wonderful hidden beach with very few people around in general.


At Cape Foulweather, near Depoe Bay, you're 500 feet above it all, and because it's spring you're now dealing with the typical fat, puffy clouds and thick air that's par for the course of the season. This is a time of year when you simply get more sights like this: those clouds and all those spaces between them offer exceptional opps for the sunlight to bounce around them, creating incredible pastels.

Newport's Nye Beach in the winter: it's late January and the skies have been topsy turvy all day. A mix of thin clouds and bright sun. When the sunset hour begins, it remains dreary until the last minute, when suddenly globs of pink erupt on the edges of the ocean.


Just south of Cannon Beach, at Silver Point, sit those oh-so-delicious viewpoints that everyone loves so much. This clip comes from the same day and hour as the Arch Cape clip, showing the burgeoning blobs of oranges and the deep, dark clouds above them in a dramatic moment.


Late summer at Lincoln City's Grace Hammond access, and the colors are exploding. The sun has gone down already, having dipped out of sight about ten minutes before. Some of the best sights occur then, the wildest colors and most impressive shades.

Video can only capture this for about ten to 15 minutes after sundown, and then conditions darken too much. SLR cameras on a tripod that can take long exposures get an even better view: because the camera can see things we humans can't these longer exposures can pick up vibrant, ethereal hues that are jaw-dropping. An example is directly above: notice the difference between colors in the video and here.


Rockaway Beach, north Oregon coast, just before the Fourth of July. Forget the fireworks because these pastels are the stunning stuff that seem to only happen in dreams. Early summer is acting like spring, sprouting wondrous pastels which are both subtle and surreal. Where to stay in these areas - Where to eat - Maps and Virtual Tours

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