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Six Highlights of Oregon's Curry Coast That Will Rock You - Literally

Published 10/31/22 at 5:33 AM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Six Highlights of Oregon's Curry Coast That Will Rock You - Literally

(Brookings, Oregon) – Where gargantuan meets gnarly, and soft sands meet hard rock surfaces of pointy configurations, the south Oregon coast's Curry County is a roller coaster of scenic wonders and twists 'n turns. There's something different around every bend, it seems, and being the road less traveled for this shoreline also means unspoiled and untouched is often the rule rather than the exception. (Above: Arizona Beach near Port Orford - photo courtesy Manuela Durson - see Manuela Durson Fine Arts for more)

What's known as the Curry Coast stretches from Langlois (just south of Bandon) to the edges of the state's border with Cali. Along the way, the distance between towns is way more than the length of the actual burghs strung together. Here's just six highlights in a land of many of them.

Blacklock Point and Cliffs

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Near Langlois, this remote but thoroughly striking set of cliffs makes for plenty of awe once you finally hike out the couple of miles or so it takes to get there. Blacklock Point shows off the long, almost wavy lines of cliffs that may evoke England's cliffs of Dover just a tad, except these light on fire if the sunset hits them just right.

To get down to the arch or to Blacklock Point it's quite a hike from either Floras Lake or the airport, and there's hordes of mud puddles and deep mud in the rainy moments. Keep that in mind.

Down below the cliffs, there's quite an array of intertidal zones as well, along with big indents and almost cave-like features that can you hide from the winds for a bit.

Cape Blanco

Courtesy Manuela Durson - see Manuela Durson Fine Arts for more

The south Oregon coast's Cape Blanco is quite a bevy of treasures, as well as the westernmost outcropping in the U.S. - save for one on the Washington coast. The lighthouse and its gift shop / museum are a delight in the more unruly weather situations, while the historic Hughes House nearby is another time-traveling kick in the pants.

The real attraction is the wild, seriously untamed scenery, where you can scoot yourself down that steep hill to the massive beach below, all within view of the grand, imposing sight of The Needle rock structure. Horse riding and camping are also a big thing in this sprawling Curry Coast spot.

Port Orford Heads State Park

Photo courtesy Oregon State Parks

It's a fairly small state park but it's got a lot packed into it, not the least of which are astounding views from a few outcroppings soaring above the sea. All around you is dense coastal rainforest, bringing Port Orford Heads State Park a true primitive atmosphere that almost makes you feel like you're the first to set foot. Consequently, it's well known for its whale watching opportunities.

Nellie's Cove is the highlight here, with a seemingly random chunk of concrete set between two sea stacks. That was part of the boat launching system that was once utilized here, back when there was a bustling rescue station. This lifesaver station's history still lives on in a museum here operated by the Cape Blanco Heritage Society.

Arizona Beach State Park

Courtesy Oregon State Parks

Slightly hidden because it's a little hard to find, it's not unusual to see few others while here in this wind-sheltered, rugged chunk of south Oregon coast. Arizona Beach State Recreation Site features a small pond stocked with fish, ready for the beginner – especially kids – to cast a line. From there it encompasses Myrtle Creek and contains rather large, chunky grains of sand that are different than many Oregon coast / Curry Coast spots.

Curious holes occupy some of the low-lying beach cliffs, while the sand levels give way to more or less of intriguing boulders and agate-filled areas, depending on time of year. There's camping available at this mix of lush greens and sandy shores, and the northern, rather pointy section of rocky outcropping provides much storm-watch action during that season.

Ariya's Beach / Meyers Creek Beach

There's still some controversy that Ariya's Beach exists here within the confines of greater Meyers Creek Beach, but all that hubbub aside it's one remarkable spot. It's a true land of giants here, with imposing sea stacks as old as 140 million years scattered all around you. The serious prize is getting to see the arch in the middle of the biggest collection of them with the sun shining through a good amount of mist, creating some unearthly, wildly intriguing lighting effects.

When the tides are farther out you can explore some of the bottom sections of these gargantuans, getting to glimpse all manner of tidepool creatures. The shapes and contours of the rock monoliths and labyrinths become different as well, and there's a massive sea cave just offshore that you can gawk at.

One of the big structures seems to be leaning to one side, and makes a striking pose that's easily recognizable from the road as you descend from Cape Sebastian heading south.


Harris Beach, courtesy Oregon State Parks

It's the last chunk of Oregon coast before the shoreline morphs into California, and for such a small burgh it packs plenty of beaches to explore.

Harris Beach State Park offers up a wide variety of beach environments, with a mix of rocky blobs in different shapes. Plus, there's a rather engaging pathway down to the beach between two soaring rocks – giving it a ruins-like, Game of Thrones vibe. There's also camping in the midst of these miles of rugged, truly untamed beaches.

Mill Beach is a sizable, sandy paradise set within a lovely cove, and Chetco Point is an amazing collection of short beach areas and jagged, rock structures – with a stretch that's wheelchair accessible. Head down to Crissey Field State Recreation Site for gobs of driftwood set between the sands and an embracing forest, and maybe find yourself stepping over the California border without knowing.

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