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Devil's Punch Bowl

Updated: Jun 4, 2022

Why a Wonder: A spectacular collapsed cave with an awesome inside-to-outside view.

Where: Otter Rock, Oregon, about eight miles north of Newport.

When: Year round, but checking the tides is more important than checking the weather.

Photography: Check a tide chart well in advance of your visit. You can’t walk inside the cave at high tide due to the high water level. If you go in at low tide and spend too much time inside the cave, it may be difficult or impossible to get out.

Be sure to wear waterproof boots, as you’ll be walking through tide pools on your way in and out of the cave. Also note that the algae-covered rocks are very slipper, so watch your step.

Once inside the cave, you’ll need to go to the very back of the cave to get the widest view. The wider the lens the better, but a lens like the the Canon 15-35mm lens should do the trick. For long exposures and for HDR (high dynamic range) photography, you’ll need a tripod.

For the maximum depth-of-field, use a wide-angle lens, small aperture and focus one-third into the scene.

When photographing along the back wall of the cave, you’ll need to keep your camera in a plastic camera bag to protect it from dripping water. Also bring a lens cleaning cloth to wipe water droplets off the front element of your lens or polarizing filter.

You will need a tripod if you want to do long-exposure and HDR photography.

Conditions inside the cave are always changing, with sand drifting or being pulled out by heavy seas – so the foreground varies from tide to tide.

If you can't get in to the cave, there are also photo opportunities, from panos to macro shots, from the lookout above the cave and from the beach at the entrance to cave.

Learn more: Check out The Oregon Coast Photo Road Trip book.

© Rick and Susan Sammon

This post sponsored by Benro.

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