When other central Oregon Coast beaches are crowded on a hot summer's day, I can usually find peace and relative solitude at the Muriel O. Ponsler Memorial State Scenic Viewpoint, where China Creek flows into the Pacific Ocean. There are many miles of beach in either direction, offering further opportunities to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Pacific Ocean.
The free wayside is located along Highway 101, a few miles north of the popular Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint and Carl G. Washburne Memorial State Park, and south of the town of Yachats.
My wife and I can usually find an available picnic table to lay out a sumptuous spread, but we always bring along camping chairs and tables just in case. Thick hedges help to block the wind on a breezy day.
Who was Muriel O. Ponsler?
The park is named for the wife of Jack C. Ponsler, who donated the 2 acres of land to the Oregon State Parks after Muriel died on March 29, 1939 at the age of 41.
The Oregon Coast has many small scenic viewpoints to stop at similar to this one. A glance at vehicle license plates shows that a visit to the Coast isn't just for Oregonians.
The Oregon Pacific Coast Passport can be a good value for those people planning on an Oregon Coast vacation. It's a multi-agency day use pas that covers entry, vehicle parking and day use fees at over 15 fees sites along Highway 101, the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway.