hikes

June 19, 2015

Southern Oregon Coast

We spent three nights camping at Harris Beach State Park in Brookings, Oregon so we could spend time exploring and hiking the Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor. Stretching for twelve miles along the Oregon Coast, the park has some of the most dramatic scenery on the west coast. With many pullouts alongside Highway 101, the corridor includes the Oregon Coast Trail, which runs parallel to the highway and coastline, climbing up and down repeatedly to hidden beaches and scenic viewpoints.

ARCH ROCK

Beginning at the north end of the park, Arch Rock Viewpoint has a short loop trail with views in three directions, including one of the namesake Arch Rock.

Arch Rock Viewpoint

view looking north at Arch Rock Viewpoint

Arch Rock

Arch Rock

Arch Rock Viewpoint

beach north of Arch Rock Viewpoint

Arch Rock Viewpoint

Arch Rock Viewpoint

Arch Rock Viewpoint

view to the south at Arch Rock Viewpoint

 

THUNDER ROCK COVE

Our next stop was Thunder Rock Cove. A short trail goes to a viewpoint at the end of a point. The views in all directions were my favorite from the entire trip.

Thunder Rock Cove

Thunder Rock Cove, looking directly west

Thunder Rock Cove

view looking south at Thunder Rock Cove

Thunder Rock Cove

trees growing on the rock at Thunder Rock Cove

Thunder Rock Cove

looking north towards Secret Beach

 

NATURAL BRIDGES

Just past Thunder Rock Cove is a pullout for Natural Bridges Viewpoint, with a 1/10 mile trail to a platform view of the natural bridges rocks below.

Natural Bridges Viewpoint

Natural Bridges Viewpoint

Natural Bridges Viewpoint

Natural Bridges

Natural Bridges Viewpoint

close-up of the Natural Bridges

 

CHINA BEACH

With several beaches accessible only via hikes along the Oregon Coast Trail, we took the trail to China Beach that begins at the North Island Trail Viewpoint. With multiple trails leading in different directions that are all unsigned, it’s not always easy to find your way on the right trail. However, sometimes a trail post marked for the Oregon Coast Trail will help. At times overgrown with conifers and salal, the trail descends quickly to the beach after following parallel to the highway for a short distance. Once the beach comes into view, follow the faint trail all the way to a rocky area to access the beach.

China Beach

China Beach from the viewpoint above

China Beach

North Island Viewpoint Trail to China Beach

China Beach

China Beach

China Beach

China Beach

China Beach

China Beach

 

INDIAN SANDS

Indian Sands is a unique section of this corridor, with sculpted sandstone rock and dunes forming the landscape above the coastline. A short but steep trail leads to a section of the Oregon Coast Trail. At the junction, turn right to reach the open sandy area with trails through Indian Sands. Small meadows atop the rock are full of wildflowers in mid-June.

Indian Sands

trail to Indian Sands

Indian Sands

dune area

Indian Sands

sandstone formations

Indian Sands

Indian Sands

Indian Sands

wildflowers at Indian Sands

Indian Sands

arch rock at Indian Sands

Indian Sands

pounding surf

Indian Sands

Indian Sands

Indian Sands

Indian Sands

 

WHALESHEAD BEACH

Whaleshead Beach has picnic tables, restrooms and views of many sea stacks, including Whaleshead Island.

Whaleshead Beach

Whaleshead Beach

Whaleshead Beach

Whaleshead Beach

Whaleshead Beach

Whaleshead Beach

 

LONE RANCH BEACH

Lone Ranch Beach is the last stop in the Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor. A wide, sandy beach is easily accessible from the large parking lot.

Lone Ranch Beach

Lone Ranch Beach

Lone Ranch Beach

Lone Ranch Beach

 

HARRIS BEACH

Harris Beach in Brookings is not part of the Samuel Board Corridor, but it is definitely worth spending time exploring. The coastline turns inland and faces south, creating several large coves with sea stacks, rocks and sandy beaches.

Harris Beach

Brookings, Oregon and Harris Beach

Harris Beach

Harris Beach

Harris Beach

low tide

Harris Beach

cove at Harris Beach

Harris Beach

exploring the sea stacks

Harris Beach

sea stacks at Harris Beach

Harris Beach

sunset at Harris Beach

 

CAMPGROUND

Harris Beach State Park campground in Brookings, Oregon is quite large, with sections for tents, RVs and a few yurts. It’s very family friendly, with restrooms and hot showers, and an ice cream truck that winds through the campground.

Harris Beach

Harris Beach State Park campground

Harris Beach

multi-trunked tree at the campground

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