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Southern Oregon Coast, 7/13-7/18/2014

Posted: July 24th, 2014, 7:58 pm
by kmcdade
Vacation part 2: we dropped the kids off at summer camp near Florence, and went off on our own.

First, we stayed at William Tugman State Park, in a yurt. While there, we attempted to hike around Eel Lake. At least, I thought that's what we were doing. I probably should have printed out the directions, since there was insufficient cell phone service there.

I had read the description here, which describes a five-mile hike around the lake: ... tate-park/

However, I didn't note the location of the trailhead, and when we got to the lake (which is in the day use section of Tugman), we saw a trailhead on the southwest side of the lake and started there. This is a very nice trail which just goes part way around the lake to a viewpoint with a bench. There appears to be a trail that continues on, but it was quite brushy and my husband declined to go further. It looks like we should have looked for a trailhead near the campground's dump station instead. Ah, well. Eel Lake is lovely, and there were many birds and big trees.
Eel Lake.jpg
Eel Lake Trail.jpg
Eel Lake Bridge.jpg
Eel Lake 2.jpg
We also visited the Umpqua River Lighthouse, which does NOT involve hiking, but I can definitely recommend touring it.

Next, we moved down to Coos Bay. Well, actually, we went a bit further south, where my husband made me visit the Prehistoric Gardens due to his nostalgia. It's a nice little garden walk with some great Sitka Spruce trees, but not really worth the $12 per person!

While in the Coos Bay area, we did several short hikes/walks. First, we visited the gardens at Shore Acres. Walking the gardens is great, but this is also a good place to start hiking on the local trail network. There are several trails between Sunset Bay, Shore Acres and Cape Arago. We looked at the maps and information displayed at Shore Acres and decided to visit the WWII radio bunker along the Pack Trail. You can start hiking from Shore Acres, or drive up the road a short distance to the Pack Trail trailhead. This appears to be a former jeep road, which climbs for about 1/3-1/2 mile to the bunker and then continues on to Cape Arago. We just did an out and back to the bunker.
Shore Acres.jpg
Hugging Trees.jpg
Bunker 1.jpg
Bunker 2.jpg
Bunker Tower.jpg
We then continued on to Cape Arago, where there is a stone viewpoint, a trail to another viewpoint to the north, and trails down to both the North and South coves. It was foggy the first day we went there, and we could HEAR seals or sea lions barking, but couldn't see them. We hiked down into the North Cove looking for them, but no dice. It turns out that they hang out on some big rocks/islands just off the cape. We went back the next day when it was sunny, and we could see the seals and sea lions, and there was a ranger assisting with tidepooling in the South cove.
Cape Arago Looking South.jpg
Cape Arago Trail to North Cove.jpg
North Cove.jpg
I mislabeled these - this one above is the sea lions' island and the one below is the Cape Arago Lighthouse (not in service and not open to the public). The place to view wildlife is the Simpson Reef Wildlife Viewing area, which is between Shore Acres and Cape Arago.
Sea Lions Island.jpg
Cape Arago Trail.jpg
A good longer hike would be from Sunset Bay to Cape Arago and back (and you can do a partial loop on the Pack Trail). It looks like about 4 miles one way from Sunset Bay to the cape. There's a description of this hike here: ... ape-arago/

Re: Southern Oregon Coast, 7/13-7/18/2014

Posted: July 28th, 2014, 5:44 pm
by Sean Thomas
Great TR, kmc! I remember hiking some of those trails stemming out from shore acres when I was little kid. Love the spruce too.

Re: Southern Oregon Coast, 7/13-7/18/2014

Posted: March 12th, 2018, 6:43 pm
by Suza
Update on an older post:

We hiked the Cape Arago Pack Trail today. Parked at a small turnout directly across the highway from the northernmost trailhead. A lot of steep climbs if you take the trail all the way to Cape Arago. We hiked from the north end (near the bunkers. At about 1 3/4 mi the trail forks, with no signage. It appeared that the left fork continued following the ridgeline while the right fork headed West. We took the right fork which switchbacked up and around and back down again, ending up on the jeep road portion of the trail at Cape Arago. Not sure this is the route indicated on the map, since it did not show a fork. We continued to Cape Arago Day Use area, then hiked back down the highway, past the Simpson Reef overlook and back to where we parked at the trailhead. Total distance for the loop was 3.35 mi. It took us a couple of hours, but we spent some time at the bunkers, taking photos at Cape Arago, and looking for whales at the Simpson Reef overlook. Here are the "hugging trees". In 4 years they have grown closer together.
Hugging trees March 2018