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Clatsop Spit, Astoria

4.9
#6 of 9 in Parks in Astoria
Water Body Nature / Park
Clatsop Spit is a giant sand spit on the Pacific coast along U.S. 101 between Astoria and the north end of Tillamook Head in Clatsop County, northwest Oregon at the mouth of the Columbia River. The Clatsop Spit was formed by Columbia River sediment brought to the coast by the river flow after the last ice age ended approximately 8500 years ago and the ocean level rose. Here it worked over and shaped by the wind and the waves until a vast and sandy plain was formed.ShipwrecksThe seas around Clatsop Spit were known to be treacherous and there were many shipwrecks, including the paddle steamer General Warren in which 42 people died in the surf in 1852 and in 1859, the schooner Rambler washed up on Clatsop Spit. No trace of her crew was ever found. In 1860, the barque Leonese washed up on Clatsop Spit upside down and her crew lost. In 1883 the crew of the luxury schooner J.C. Cousins operated by the State of Oregon similarly vanished as she washed ashore. Other shipwrecks include the barquentine Makah (1888), and the bark Peter Iredale in 1906. It is estimated that since 1800 more than 2,000 vessels and close to 1,000 lives have been lost.
For travelers who use our international travel planner, Astoria holidays become easier to arrange, with trips to the Clatsop Spit and other attractions mapped out and timetabled.
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36 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Great view that helps create a better understanding of our attempts to try to create a predictable and safe shipping lane. You can also see what a massive undertaking the building of the jetty was. Wh...  more »
  • We enjoyed the spit. We saw the Columbia River and ocean from the Astoria Column but that was at a distance. From the spit you can see the north and south levies at the mouth of the river from an elev...  more »
  • This is not your normal Tourist or Travelers view of this attraction, this is a Fisherman's view. Clatsop Spit has multiple Tourist attractions, but the fishing is what has drawn me to the Spit since ...  more »

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Where to stay in Astoria

Luxury hotels and historical inns offer scenic views over the Columbia River. To experience the surrounding countryside as Lewis and Clark did, consider camping at one of the campsites on the outskirts of town, or rent a cabin near the river's shores.
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