Category Archives: Oregon Coast

Blacklock Point Loop (Oregon Coast) 07-Dec-2017

Blacklock Point Floras Lake State Natural Area Oregon

Having been granted a foul weather reprieve for one more dry visit to the Oregon Coast this year, we headed there to walk on the beach and enjoy a few short hikes. The third and last of these was a loop (5.5 miles roundtrip; 300 feet of elevation gain) – on a section of the Oregon Coast Trail (OCT) – from a trailhead at Cape Blanco State Airport to Blackrock Point  in the Floras Lake State Natural Area.  The viewless walk through the enveloping coastal forest was rewarded by expansive views from the Point and also from other viewpoints along the loop on yet another  bluebird day!  What a way to wrap-up our imprompu, but spectacular, visit to the coast in winter.

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Cape Sebastian (Oregon Coast) 06-Dec-2017

Cape Sebastian State Scenic Corridor Oregon

Having been granted a foul weather reprieve for one more dry visit to the Oregon Coast this year, we headed there to walk on the beach and enjoy a few short hikes. The second of these was an out-and-back (3.6 miles roundtrip; 1,000 feet of elevation gain) – on a section of the Oregon Coast Trail (OCT) – from the viewpoint atop Cape Sebastian (the highest point on the Southern Oregon Coast) to Hunters Cove.  This hike in the Cape Sebastian State Scenic Corridor was a great one through stands of Sitka spruce past a wave-pounded rocky promentory to the wide beach at the Cove. Along the way we had stunning close-up views of the rugged coastline on yet another  bluebird day!

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Cape Ferrelo (Oregon Coast) 05-Dec-2017

Cape Ferrelo Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor Oregon

When the first waves of winter wet arrived in November, we thought we’d missed our chance for one more dry visit to the Oregon Coast this year. But then high pressure took control ( a somewhat unusual occurrence) and the coastal forecast came up with 10+ days of clear, sunny, and mild conditions. So we headed to the coast to walk on the beach and enjoy a few short hikes. The first of these was an out-and-back (3.6 miles roundtrip; 800 feet of elevation gain) from the House Rock Viewpoint to Cape Ferrelo on a section of the Oregon Coast Trail (OCT) in the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor.  This proved to be a wonderful hike through stands of old growth spruce and red alder to the grassy top of the cape for breathtaking views of the rugged coastline on the most bluebird of days!

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Visiting Oregon’s Wilderness Areas (July 2017)

Visits to Oregon's Wilderness Areas

In late 2015, as we were assembling our hiking to do list for 2016, it occurred to us that we had yet to at least visit all of Oregon’s 47 established and open federal wilderness areas (Oregon’s Wilderness Areas). Two of the 47 (Oregon Islands and Three Arch Rocks) are closed to public entry (and would require amphibious operations even if they were open). Of the remaining 45, we had, as of 2015, hiked or visited all but 18. So we planned some trips to visit these. We’re not philosophers but suffice to say that wilderness exists just to be wild, irrespective of human needs or wants. So we understood going in that the primary “human” purpose for these wilderness areas is to protect a watershed or a threatened and endangered species or a terrestrial habitat or a fish habitat or all of the above and not for our hiking pleasure. This is particularly true of the smaller, less visited areas, many of which have few or no trails and in which cross-country travel opportunities vary from good to heroically (think Lewis & Clark or Alexander Mackenzie) difficult. So we weren’t planning on long day hikes or multi-day backpacks, just a visit and, if possible without undue heroics, a short hike.  We started on the remaining 18 in January 2016 and visited the last one in July 2017.  Below is a list of all of Oregon’s established wilderness areas, with a link (if available) to at least one of our visits to each (we’ve visited some multiple times).

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Two Hikes on the Southern Oregon Coast 10/11-Oct-2016

Oregon Coast Redwoods Humbug Mountain

The calm before the storm

This weather forecast was calling for rain by the end of the week, with up to 10 inches in 24 hours predicted for places on the Southern Oregon Coast (a forecast that has since been upgraded to “…more than the typical rainfall for the entire month of October, and for the Medford airport, could be the wettest 5 day period in October since 1962…” {the year of the infamous Columbus Day Storm}).  With this ominous prognostication in mind, we decided to make a run for the coast and do a couple of short, but unique, hikes that had been on the edge of our to do list for awhile.

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Oregon Coastal Wilderness Areas 8/9-Jan-2016

Oregon Coastal Wilderness Areas

Of the 47 established (plus 3 proposed) federal wilderness areas in Oregon, we’ve hiked in all the better known ones (Mount Hood, Three Sisters, Badger Creek, etc.) but there are some that have thus far escaped the tramp of our boots. Two of the 47 (Oregon Islands and Three Arch Rocks) are closed to public entry (and would require amphibious operations even if they were open). So we decided to plan some trips to hike (even just a little) in those that are hikeable or at least reachable.  Seizing on a partial break in January’s usually soggy weather, we headed out to visit the five wilderness areas along Oregon’s coast: Drift Creek, Cummins Creek, Rock Creek, Copper-Salmon, and Grassy Knob.

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