CAPE ARAGO STATE PARK

Cape Arago may be the end of the road (the road out of Coos Bay goes no further), but it’s really only the beginning if you want to explore the southern Oregon coast.

Located at the end of Cape Arago Highway about 15 miles southwest of Coos Bay, Cape Arago is a scenic headland jutting into the Pacific Ocean. Long used by native Americans, Cape Arago was first sighted by Europeans during one of Sir Francis Drake’s expeditions in the late 1500s. Modern visitors can scan the horizon for migrating whales and other marine mammals, as well as fishing boats and ships entering and leaving nearby Coos Bay.

The south cove trail leads down to a sandy beach and superior tidepools where you can visit intertidal plants and animals (but please enjoy them with your eyes only). The north cove trail provides access for fishing, beachcombing, and viewing the off-shore colonies of seals and sea lions at Shell Island — a designated National Wildlife Refuge. The trail is closed March 1- June 30 to protect seal pups. Picnic tables, restrooms and a gazebo shelter are available for daytime use.

CAPE ARAGO LIGHTHOUSE

Cape Arago may be the end of the road (the road out of Coos Bay goes no further), but it’s really only the beginning if you want to explore the southern Oregon coast.

Located at the end of Cape Arago Highway about 15 miles southwest of Coos Bay, Cape Arago is a scenic headland jutting into the Pacific Ocean. Long used by native Americans, Cape Arago was first sighted by Europeans during one of Sir Francis Drake’s expeditions in the late 1500s. Modern visitors can scan the horizon for migrating whales and other marine mammals, as well as fishing boats and ships entering and leaving nearby Coos Bay.

The south cove trail leads down to a sandy beach and superior tidepools where you can visit intertidal plants and animals (but please enjoy them with your eyes only). The north cove trail provides access for fishing, beachcombing, and viewing the off-shore colonies of seals and sea lions at Shell Island — a designated National Wildlife Refuge. The trail is closed March 1- June 30 to protect seal pups. Picnic tables, restrooms and a gazebo shelter are available for daytime use.

BASTENDORFF BEACH

Bastendorff Beach County Park is located 1/4 mile off the Cape Arago State Highway, about two miles west of Charleston. The campground is open year-round and all RV, Cabin and Tent sites are available for online reservations at www.co.coos.or.us . For Group Camping , and Day use Shelters contact the reservation line 541-396-7755.

74 spaciously laid out water and electric hook-up sites are available, and most will accommodate RVs or single vehicles; 25 non-hook up sites are perfect for tent campers. Two camping cabins which may be reserved are located in Loop ‘B’. Each site contains its own picnic table and fireplace with a grate. The five loops of campsites provide individual and secluded sites, surrounded by large trees and coastal foliage. There is a handicapped accessible site in Loop ‘C’, and hiker/bicyclist sites are located in loop ‘A’. Buildings providing clean flush restrooms and warm shower facilities are conveniently located in the three sections of the park. Two RV sanitary disposal stations are available, one in Loop ‘B’ and one in Loop ‘C’. A group campground with 18 water and electrical hookup sites located in E loop provides large groups the opportunity to camp together in one location. A restroom/shelter building is also available in this section. Groups must reserve this in advance.

The day use area provides a wonderful place for picnics, watching the splendor of the ocean, or group events. Two picnic sites with gazebo-like shelters are available and can be reserved. The shelters are equipped with charcoal grills, (must provide own charcoal) electric outlets, electric four-burner stovetops, and kitchen sinks with cold running water. The day use area includes large lawns ideal for softball and volleyball. A fire pit, barbecue, horseshoe court, basketball court, and a fish cleaning stand make up the beautifully maintained day-use area. Several pay telephones are nearby and accessible for visitors. The playground area for children is unique and draws people to the park from miles around. The rustic forts, fishing boat, swings, slides, teeter-totters, merry-go-round and bouncing animals keep children young and old occupied for unending hours. There is ample parking with an ocean view overlooking Bastendorff Beach and jetties. A coin-operated viewer is available at the day use area for whale watching.