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3 (or 4) Stops on the Marys Peak to Pacific Scenic Byway

Guest Author | 01/10/2020 | Breweries, Wineries & Distilleries, Outdoor Recreation

If you're going to make the trip down the Pacific Scenic Byway, start from the top at Marys Peak Recreation Area. It's all downhill from there. Beware that the road isn't maintained during winter months, but when there's snow, it offers opportunities for snow-shoeing, cross-country skiing and other non-motorized winter recreation.

During the summer months, the Botanical Special Interest Area is a sight to behold, as a wide spectrum of colors from tiger lily, lupine, Indian paintbrush, cat's ear, and fireweed (among other wildflowers) blanket the landscape of a maturing meadow restoration project. If you want to stay overnight on the highest peak of the coast range, Marys Peak Campground is open from the beginning of May until the end of September. Views from the summit overlook the Pacific to the West and the valley to the East, with multiple peaks from the Cascades in view on a clear day.

Siuslaw Brewing, courtesy the Siuslaw Brewing Facebook pageSiuslaw Brewing, courtesy the Siuslaw Brewing Facebook page.  As you make your way towards the coast, John Boy's Mercantile is a great place to grab fishing tackle, souvenirs, or just the bare necessities, but make time to stop in and fill your growler at Siuslaw Brewing. Just west of the town of Alsea, this small operation redefines the "micro" in microbrewery. They malt their own barley grown in the field out in front of the barn brewery, as well as brew from their hops that line the drive. Nestled in the Siuslaw National Forest, the brewery sits on the banks of the Alsea River. Call ahead for hours, or just look for the sandwich board at the road that says "Growler fills only." The quiet and quaint atmosphere moves at the perfect pace to slow down and enjoy a taste of what's on tap.

Once you've reached the coast, head south from Waldport towards Cape Perpetua in Yachats. The visitor's center is a good place to gather trail maps and make a plan based on the seasonal conditions. Whether you're overlooking the ocean from the stone shelter, observing the chaos of waves crashing into Devil's Churn, taking a walk through the tidepools at sea level, or gazing into Thor's Well, there's plenty to see from all angles. With viewing areas a few hundred steps from your parking space to 26 miles of trail systems to explore, there's something for everyone.

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Article and featured photo by Randall Bonner. Keep up with Corvallis news, events and happenings by signing up for our email newsletter.

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