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Blacklock Point from Floras Lake Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Clifftop view to Blacklock Point and Tower Rock, Floras Lake State Natural Area (bobcat)
Hiking towards the breach in the dunes at Floras Lake (bobcat)
Cliffs backing the beach south of Floras Lake (bobcat)
Looking down on the natural arch ( (bobcat)
Tunnel of spruce near Blacklock Point (bobcat)
Rocky shoreline south of Blacklock Point (bobcat)
The hike to Blacklock Point from Floras Lake (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: Caltopo/USFS
  • Start point: Boice Cope TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Blacklock Point
  • Trail log:
  • Hike Type: In and out with short loop
  • Distance: 9.1 miles
  • Elevation gain: 470 feet
  • High Point: 170 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seasons: All year
  • Family Friendly: No
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No
Falling

Contents

Hike Description

One of the most unheralded state parks in Oregon, and also one of its largest, is near Floras Lake just south of Langlois. Since it’s not a “developed” park, it’s not even on the state parks website! You’ll actually begin the hike at a county park, follow the shore of shallow Floras Lake out to the beach, walk below colorful cliffs, head inland up a brushy creek, take the Oregon Coast Trail through coastal woods, look down on a picturesque natural arch, and visit numerous clifftop viewpoints for wide-ranging views up and down the coast as well as to a colorful array of stacks out to sea. There are a few caveats here: There is some signage, but the trails are not well-mapped, so follow directions carefully; avoid the beach section at high tide when the breakers beat against the cliffs; and be prepared to dodge large puddles in the wet season.

Note that there’s a shorter, less scenic route to Blacklock Point using trails that begin at the Cape Blanco Airport. Woodland rhododendrons put on a display of pink blooms in spring, when irises also line parts of the trail. An unusual winter bloom is the pendulous coast silktassel.

From the parking area at Curry County’s Boice Cope Park, cross the footbridge over the New River, which drains Floras Lake. Follow a sandy track through a thicket of waxmyrtle, willow, and shore pine as blackbirds tinkle in the reed patches. Walk along the shore of Floras Lake, heading for a gap in the foredunes which winter high tides might wash through.

Once on the sloping beach, walk south. Tower Rock and Blacklock Point, your final destination, are visible now. You’ll find yourself below colorful sandstone bluffs broken by a single narrow defile. Contorted spruce trees rim the cliff edge above. Reach a small creek, your signal to head inland.

Find a brushy trail that heads through the waist-deep salal on the south side of the log-jammed creek. Then enter a dark, mossy spruce thicket where you may have to stoop to make passage. The path swings right to meet the unsigned Oregon Coast-Airport Creek Trail Junction in a sedge swamp. Head right to cross a rather dubious footbridge lashed to a tree for stability, or ford the creek about 25 yards up where the main OCT crosses it. Go left for 25 yards after crossing the bridge, and find the trail heading up a slope forested by Sitka spruce with nests of leathery polypody ferns in the crooks of their branches. Reach a plateau of sorts, and take the first obvious spur trail leading right. This reaches the cliff edge at a viewpoint over an attractive sandstone arch down on the beach, perhaps the most elegant formation of its type in Oregon (If you want to reach the base of the arch, it’s about 250 yards south of the creek on the beach – but attempt this only at low tide.).

Back on the main trail, hike into a mossy hobbit woodland of shore pine, Sitka spruce, salal, and evergreen huckleberry. Reach the Oregon Coast-Cape Blanco Airport Trail Junction, and stay right. Pass a couple of excellent viewpoints which give you a closer look at Blacklock Point and Tower Rock. The trail turns inland through head-high salal and dips to cross two footbridges over small creeks. Hike up a grassy slope that blooms with iris in the spring. Cross a third creek in denser spruce forest. The next section of trail is often under water, but a detour leads around to the right. Pass one viewpoint, and then hike out from a junction to gravel clifftops for close views of Blacklock Point’s dark claw-like promontory jutting into the Pacific and the rocky beach at the base of the cliffs. Small clumps of lupine, strawberry, and crowberry mat the tableland.

Back on the OCT, detour around another soggy section of trail, and join an old jeep road. Pass through quiet forest to reach the signed Oregon Coast-Blacklock Point Trail Junction, the latter trail coming straight from the Cape Blanco Airport. Keep right, and then make another right at the next junction, also signposted; staying straight at this junction would take you down to the beach and the Sixes River Mouth. Dip and rise in spruce/sword fern forest. The trail veers left to follow the grassy edge of the headland. Views extend to the large sea stacks of Castle Rock and Gull Rock as well as the Sixes River Mouth and Cape Blanco, Oregon’s westernmost point. Hook around the headland to get a view along Blacklock Point’s peninsula to Tower Rock and its scattered minions. A sketchy user trail leads along the spine of Blacklock Point to offer different perspectives.

A side loop down to the beach is possible. When you return to the woods, you’ll see a trail leading down to the right. This path drops down a grassy slope with lupine and some gorse bushes. Near the point, there are rock pools to explore at low tide. Hike along the beach a short distance, and find where the Oregon Coast Trail leads up the slope (It’s one mile from here to the Sixes River Mouth if you want to travel farther south.). From the Oregon Coast-Blacklock Point Trail Junction, return the way you came along the OCT.

When you reach the wobbly bridge crossing over the creek that you accessed from the beach, go right at the Oregon Coast-Airport Creek Trail Junction. Switchback steeply up a slope instead of returning to the beach. Wind through the dense woods where trail spurs lead out to blufftop views. Cross a small gully and then another footbridge in a sword fern ravine. Reach the Oregon Coast-Floras Lake Trail Junction, and make a left on an old jeep road.

Hike on the level through a tunnel of green. Keep straight at a boulder barrier, and continue along in a dense thicket which includes silktassel bushes (These bloom in winter.). Cross a red-colored flat littered with old driftwood where the trail is marked with Bureau of Land Management posts. Near the shore of Floras Lake, you’ll come to the Oregon Coast-Floras Beach Trail Junction. Stay right to follow the shoreline of the lake. Soon, the trail posts take you back into the beachgrass and then the breach in the foredunes. Go right to head back to the Boice Cope Trailhead.


Maps

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • $2 day use fee
  • Open dawn to dusk
  • Dogs on leash
  • Port-a-potty, picnic area, interpretive signs, campground
  • Hike the beach section around the time of low tide!

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

The following guidebooks offer more than one option for getting to Blacklock Point:

  • 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Oregon Coast & Coast Range by William L. Sullivan
  • Exploring the Oregon Coast Trail by Connie Soper
  • Oregon’s Best Wildflower Hikes: Southwest Region by Elizabeth L. Horn
  • 50 Hikes in Oregon by David L. Anderson
  • Backpacking Oregon by Douglas Lorain
  • 120 Hikes on the Oregon Coast by Bonnie Henderson
  • Day Hiking: Oregon Coast by Bonnie Henderson
  • Oregon Coast Hikes by Paul M. Williams
  • Oregon: The Creaky Knees Guide by Seabury Blair, Jr.
  • Oregon Coast Camping & Hiking by Tom Stienstra & Sean Patrick Hill
  • Oregon Hiking by Sean Patrick Hill
  • The Oregon Coast Trail Guide by Jon Kenneke (eBook)
  • Best Hikes With Dogs: Oregon by Ellen Morris Bishop

More Links


Contributors

Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.