Out of Coos Bay/North Bend and through Charleston, Oregon, as you continue traveling, you will come to the Cape Arago Beach Loop. This area is part of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area and also contains three state parks, Sunset Bay State Park, Cape Arago State Park and the beautiful botanical gardens of Shore Acres State Park. Sunset Bay has a very popular and calm beach dipped inside a natural cove. Bastendorff Beach is a day-use expansive beach right on the ocean, a great place to fly a kite!
The Cape has so much to offer. Hike up to the Cape Arago Lighthouse Viewpoint and take in the vast and always beautiful Pacific Coast views. There is a hiking trail along the Oregon Coast Trail. It is a bit rugged in places as it passes along the ocean cliffs.
Visit Simpson Reef where hundreds of seals and sea lions can be seen. Spot a migrating whale from here and beware of the crashing waves. You will find seal pups on the beach but please do not disturb them as they are just waiting for their moms to return.
There is an island here, Shell Island with an Interpretive Stop. This is part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge. Here are breeding grounds and rest areas for Marine mammals and ocean birds. Bring your binoculars to the Interpretive Stop for the best viewing.
The end of the Cape Arago Highway opens up to a large viewing area. Off to the right is the trail down to a cove where, at low tied, you will find some of the best tide pooling around for Sea Stars, Turban Snails, Sea Anemones and more. This is also a great place to watch the offshore seal and sea lion colonies. You can hear them barking before you will see them. Other ocean life can be found here also.
A few years ago, as we walked back up from the tide pool cove and seals and sea lions, we stopped to sit on a bench about halfway up to watch the ocean. Not too far offshore, we spotted our first ever whale breaching and diving as it fished for plankton. Lots of excitement here!
Plan to spend a day or two discovering this beautiful and unique area of the Oregon Coast. www.umpquahaven.com is an easy hour and fifteen-minute drive away from Cape Arago. Come stay with us and return home to your own comfortable RV at night. You will sleep peacefully in the serene quiet of our small park!