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Cape Sebastian Near Gold Beach: Towering Thrills, Hikes of S. Oregon Coast

Published 04/14/21 at 3:25 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Cape Sebastian Near Gold Beach: Towering Thrills, Hikes of S. Oregon Coast

(Gold Beach, Oregon) – After Gold Beach has long disappeared in the rearview mirror, and you start entering the deep forests of the southern Oregon coast’s Cape Sebastian Scenic Corridor, the glimpses of beaches and ocean are few and far between. It’s as if the area is starving you a bit, scenically, to sweeten the major surprises just ahead. (Photo of the top of Cape Sebastian, courtesy Oregon State Parks)

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All of a sudden you encounter the signs for Cape Sebastian, its trails and its viewpoints. Take that road and it will all be worth it: a visceral, even esoteric, punch in the visual cortex and the imagination.

This south Oregon coast wonder is pure magic in numerous spots, but it will make you work for it. Sitting about 200 feet high above the crazed surf and apparently enticing constant winds to smack it, you can at times see as far south as California some 50 miles away.

It all begins at the state park parking lot about seven miles south of Gold Beach. From there, a paved path takes you a ways down to a stunning viewpoint, where you’re overlooking the rest of the world. To the north, there are the plunging, grayish sheer cliffs that you can never reach – but you whiz past them at a distance along the Cape Sebastian Scenic Corridor. Also atop here, various brightly-colored fauna liven up the place even more, and some have even likened the sight to the wilds of Hawaii and maybe a scene or two from the show LOST.

It’s up to you if you want to go looking for the secret hatch or a black smoke monster.

Along the way you’re enveloped in a tunnel of Sitka spruce, with the occasional arch-like entrance to more of the canopy, giving the trails of Cape Sebastian a truly fantasy genre feel.

The paved path ends and thus begins the long, switch-backing hike down, about 1.5 miles until you reach the surreal, wave-battered shoreline. Here, it’s all intricate rocks and freaky structures all the time, with those intriguing, even puzzling shapes south coast geology is so well known for providing.

Photo courtesy Linda Tanner / Flickr

The walk boasts a few heartpounding dropoffs and it’s tempting for many to take daredevil shots on the very tips of the rocky ledges – but don’t. There’s no coming back and the area gets damp enough you could easily slip.

Eventually you come to a thin beach where you have the option of heading all the way down to Meyers Beach, but it’s a dangerous walk in higher surf conditions.

The trail is rated as moderate and is 2.7 miles round trip, unless you wander farther towards Meyers Beach.

More Nearby Fun

If tripping to the fantastic lightly is your thing and not doing a whole hiking sojourn, then the scenic corridor provides plenty of greenery sights and eventually amazing pullouts. There’s a major scenic spot just south of the entrance to the Gold Beach-area attraction. Meyers Beach itself is a wild world and a nice, broad beach to explore safely.

If it’s storm season, then you don’t want to hit the trails of Cape Sebastian anyway, but rather stick to more vehicular explorations. Those viewpoints and pullouts just above the beaches in the area will provide the best storm-watching sights.

Hiking Advice

Experts say to wear boots as you hike in the Cape Sebastian pathways. It gets mighty muddy here and tends to stay that way.

Winds are known for howling around this area with regularity, no matter what the weather. Be prepared for dealing with that.

Do not hike that narrow stretch between the rocky landscape and Meyers Beach if the tides are anywhere near high. MORE PHOTOS BELOW

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