Photo courtesy of Halvor Tweto

Bandon has been blessed with a surplus of sea stacks. These isolated rock towers, the most durable fractions of the bulky headlands that once extended farther from the current shore, take on a variety of shapes and sizes. Though none are as formidable as Haystack Rock off of Cannon Beach, the collection found here creates an equally grand impression. Some are tall and slender, others squat. Some are triangles that present an eroded hypotenuse to the sea, others are gigantic domes with small sea caves and rooms inside. It’s a diverse community of Jurassic formations that’s a true pleasure to explore.

Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint is a great way to enter into this landscape, along with nearby Coquille Point. Face Rock has the advantage of plumbed restrooms and more parking. Leaving from the parking area, a well-maintained and ADA-accessible path leads around the point. To the south you’ll find several sets of stairs that lead down the to beach. Once there, head north for the most sea stack action.

Face Rock, Cat and Kittens Rock, and all of the islands off of Coquille Point are part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge, which means you’ll have a great opportunity to spot an unusual range of bird life. In addition to the usual suspects, watch for tufted puffins in the summer.