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Chetco Point Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

View to Table Rock and Mill Beach, Chetco Point (bobcat)
Coast silk tassel (Garrya elliptica) (bobcat)
Evergreen huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum) (bobcat)
Sunset view to Zwagg Island from Chetco Point (bobcat)
The stroll out to Chetco Point in Brookings (bobcat) Courtesy: Google Maps
  • Start point: Chetco Point TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Chetco Point
  • Trail log:
  • Hike Type: In and out
  • Distance: 1.1 miles
  • Elevation gain: 110 feet
  • High Point: 90 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: All year
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No
Falling

Contents

Hike Description

This nine-acre city park next to the wastewater treatment plant allows you to walk out along a narrow point to stand fifty feet above pounding waves and rock formations. The trail is universal access for part of the way. Views to the south take in rock-dotted Chetco Cove, Tanbark Point and Brookings Harbor, with one of Oregon’s two private lighthouses, the Pelican Bay Light also visible. Much farther south is Point St. George in California. Six miles offshore, with binoculars you may be able to make out the St. George Reef Light, which is no longer active. Looking north across Macklyn Cove, you’ll see Zwagg Island and Table Rock attached to Mill Beach. Goat Island, off Harris Beach, is visible behind Zwagg, and the promontory of Cape Ferrelo juts into the ocean. A short spur trail leads down to a small beach. Offshore, seals may be sunbathing on the rocks, and this is a good whale watching spot in season. Note that sometimes the fragrances from the treatment plant may blow your way.

Take the paved trail on the north side of the parking area, passing through a gate that closes after sunset. A couple of picnic tables offer a view to Macklyn Cove and Zwagg Island, named after a hermit who lived there with his dog around the turn of the 20th century. Hike along the fence surrounding the wastewater treatment plant, and pass the restrooms just above the trail. Silktassel bushes bloom here in the winter. A very steep user trail leads down to the beaches in Macklyn Cove. The trail becomes gravel and reaches a junction.

Keep right to pass through a dark copse of Sitka spruce, and cross a footbridge over a narrow neck in the peninsula. Macklyn Cove is on your right and rock-sprinkled Chetco Cove is to your left, with Tanbark Point forming its southern limit. Pass through a waxmyrtle, evergreen huckleberry, silktassel thicket. Go left where the path splits to make a short loop around Chetco Point. You can look down to Chetco Cove and see Green Rock attached to Chetco Cove Beach, Bell Rock at the end of a short tombolo, and Square Rock and Guano Rock out in the bay. Look for the Pelican Bay Light overlooking Brookings Harbor, which suffered $7 million in damage from the March 2011 Tōhoku Earthquake tsunami. Point St. George near Crescent City, California, is on the southern horizon. The rocks off the point are folded vertically, forming a set of teeth leading out to Walrus Rocks. Walk around to get views north to Table Rock, attached to Mill Beach with the smoke belching South Coast Lumber mill behind. Zwagg Island’s low five-acre profile crouches just off the beach; the kelp beds around Diver Rock are also visible. Then you can look north to Goat Island, at 21 acres the largest island on the Oregon Coast, and Cape Ferrelo. A churning chasm below kicks up spray with each incoming wave.

Head back along the trail, and take a right to descend to small Chetco Cove Beach at Green Rock. You can pick your way through the rocky tide pools here at low tide before returning to the parking area.


Maps

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • Public restrooms and picnic tables down the trail
  • Dogs on leash
  • Gate closes ½ hour after sunset
  • Universal access

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • 120 Hikes on the Oregon Coast by Bonnie Henderson
  • Day Hiking: Oregon Coast by Bonnie Henderson
  • Oregon Beaches: A Traveler's Companion by John Shewey

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.