Cape Arago Contemplation - Oregon Coast Visitors Association

Cape Arago Contemplation

Posted by RC Hall / June 8, 2009

Many of us appreciate getting away on a trip to change the scenery or shop like crazy and try new eating establishments. You can call it adventure, just getting away or vacation however many times it merely adds up to additional stress.
Should that be the case allow me to provide a pleasant alternative with Cape Arago near Coos Bay, Oregon.

Cape Arago is where I am drawn to at least once a week all year long long to simply observe what nature has provided us. It matters not if there is a full gale blowing or a gentle breeze and sunshine, it is my refuge and favorite place to relax and air out my brain.
Are you interested and need to know more? I am pleased to help and there is always room there for you and a few friends.

Check your map for Coos Bay Oregon on the south coast of Oregon on Highway 101.Head west to Charleston from Coos Bay and you are almost there. Charleston is sort of the “doorway” to the cape and the last place to grab a bite to eat. Try to set aside some time to explore this small friendly fishing village.
Continue west a few miles to Sunset Bay and stop in the large parking area to gaze at this small but beautiful bay. There are picnic tables at each end of the bay and a State Of Oregon campground as well, May I add that I never pass here without stopping.
Leaving Sunset Bay continue a mile or so and watch for the Cape Arago Lighthouse parking and view area on the right. You can see it across the water but there is no public access anymore as it sits on a small island. You will need a long lens to get a decent photo of it but get a few shots of the ocean at least.
Just up the road about another mile is Shore Acres State Park, it is also on the right and a sign as well. Admission by vehicle is three dollars and well worth the price. There are fantastic ocean views and a trail as well, don’t pass this opportunity to enjoy spectacular ocean views from the top of the cliffs. The botanical gardens and visitor center is right there as well, during the winter holidays the gardens are lit by 250,000 lights and draws thousands from miles away.

Keep on going about another mile or so to Simpson Reef, also on your right, it is an overlook to Shell Island where California Sea Lions and seals abound at times during the year. A large information sign will inform you better that I can.

Okay, just up the road is the western tip of Cape Arago, look for the large sign to your right, there is a trail down to the beach and as you begin the trail notice the picnic tables. Here you can really enjoy the ocean views or lunch if you brought one before you trek down to the water.
There is a small vista point nearby and if you go just a bit past that are more picnic tables and restrooms. Out near the south are more tables and a bronze plaque explaining a visit by Sir Francis Drake as he took shelter here from a Pacific storm in the late 1500’s.
Nearby is a sign for another trail down to the ocean below and also a few more concealed picnic tables, this is my domain, my hideout, my secret spot and refuge. In fact I am seldom seen by anyone which is okay with me !
I dress for the weather and bring a snack and since I am a photographer one of my cameras for sure. Although my intent is relaxation and contemplation missing a “photo op” is unthinkable. There are Douglas Sqirrels, rabbits and deer and a possible porcupine not to mention all the natural beauty areound me.
In summation I am grateful to live here and more grateful there are still places like this left to enjoy. I trust you will give serious consideration to a visit, it won’t be disappointing.

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