Gold Beach & Port Orford
Gold Beach and Port Orford features one of the world’s most scenic drives along Highway 101 as it serpentines along the shoreline of the coast. Visitors travel from around the world to this area for amateur and commercial photography. The area is also home to some of the best of America’s Scenic and Wild Rivers: the Rogue, Illinois, Sixes and Elk rivers.
Historic Port Orford and Cape Blanco Lighthouse
Historic Port Orford is the northern gateway to America’s Wild Rivers Coast. No visit is complete without seeing Cape Blanco Lighthouse, the historic Hughes House, the Lifeboat Station and the commercial fishing port.
Wild and Scenic Rogue River
Gold Beach is located at the mouth of the famous Rogue River, the town offers wide open natural beaches, river activities and breathtaking views. Take a jet boat trip up the world famous Rogue, camp or RV with a view of the ocean or the many rivers, stop and hike along the many trails. Don’t miss the latest attraction, Arch Rock Brewing Company.
Map of Gold Beach and Port Orford
View Gold Beach – Port Orford Sightseeing in a larger map
Prepare to be stunned. Miles and miles of US Route 101 hug the coast and offer coast and beach views from shear cliffs.
Port Orford is a working fishing port with views of the ocean and nearby Elk and Sixes Rivers. Drive to the docks and get a unique view of the fishing boats, high up and out of water. Visit the lighthouse and the coast guard station.
No vacation trip to the coast would be complete without an exciting jet boat tour of the world famous Rogue River. Or drive to the south for one of the most stunning views of the coast from Cape Sebastian. … more
Camp on a beach next to the ocean, along the wild and scenic Rogue River, near a lighthouse, or in the middle of the Siskiyou National Forest.
There are State Parks, Forest Service facilities and privately run campgrounds to spend your vacation. Choose from those with all the amenities, or rough it. If you prefer, you can backpack into the Siskiyou National Forest and the Kalmiopsis Wilderness … more
There are seven rivers with fighting steelhead within a five-minute to one-hour drive. This includes the Rogue River along with the Sixes, Elk, Pistol, Chetco, Winchuck and Smith Rivers. If you would prefer to ocean fish, … more
Tide pooling is one of the most fascinating family fun vacation activities on the coast. Miles and miles of undeveloped beaches with easy access invite you to explore. The best places for tide pooling are rocky areas (not jetties) and discover the colorful sea stars and anemones. Near Gold Beach, the best place maybe north of Otter Point. Port Orford has Rocky Point (under ‘Sightseeing’), just south of town, with easy access to the beach.
There are many other places south towards Brookings and there is more information on that page.
Take the family for a nature walk down from Cape Sebastian, challenge Humbug Mountain or set out for overnight backpack trip in the Rogue River Trail or Illinois River Trail through the Siskiyou National Forest and the Kalmiopsis Wilderness.
The Rogue River Walk is a day trail (no camping) from just east of Gold Beach. The Lower Rogue River Trail 1168 is another day use trail from just east of Lobster Creek to Agness. The Rogue River Hiking Trail is a backpackers dream, … more
There are two cycling trips in this section: Port Orford to Gold Beach, then Gold Beach onto Brookings.
This is the most physically challenging portion of cycling the Oregon South Coast. It is 28 miles (45 km) from Port Orford to Gold Beach, and hugs the coast most of the way driving the cyclist up and down several demanding hills. Yet cycling along this portion of the the coast is among the most rewarding with amazing views.
The bike ride from Gold Beach to Brookings is 28 miles (45 km) and … more
Battle Rock is located in Port Orford at the southern end of town, while Cape Blanco is a short distance to the north. Cape Sebastian is located just south of Gold Beach. All three of these places are great for whale watching.
Cape Ferrelo is one of the best places in the state for whale watching.
The area is still largely rural and unspoiled. Most people live in a narrow strip of land between the Pacific Ocean and the coast mountain range.
The vast majority of this part of the coast is part of the Siskiyou National Forest or is otherwise owned by the US Government.
The best way to spot the wildlife may be to take a jet boat ride up the wild and scenic Rogue River. Or camp and hike further inland into the Siskiyou National Forest, the Kalmiopsis Wilderness, or the Grassy Knob Wilderness area. You could spend your vacation hiking the Rouge River trail or the Illinois River trail or, perch yourself with your camera and tripod and take pictures of the eagles and osprey as they carry their catch back to their nests.
Surfing – Windsurfing
Surfing and windsurfing opportunities abound at the uncrowded beaches. Favorite spots are just south of Port Orford, south of the Rogue River jetty in Gold Beach, and Meyers Beach and Hunters Cove just south of Cape Sebastian. All three areas are easily accessible from Route 101.
Gold Beach is home of the world famous Pistol River Wave Bash, a double elimination windsurfing contest will be run during the two best days of wind and waves.
A favorite of birders is to take one of the jet boats up the Rogue River where eagles, falcons and other birds that fish the river are in abundance. The less traveled Sixes and Elk Rivers are also favorites of bird watchers
There are also scenic points at Cape Sebastian, Otter Point, Cape Blanco, among others that offer excellent viewpoints of shore birds.
Lola Lake is a little known small lake located south of Gold Beach, just south of Pistol River. Lola Lake is wet even during the dry season, but is overgrown and swamp-like, making it a perfect place for nesting and migrating birds and birders. The hike is short as the total distance around the lake from the parking area is just over a mile (1.7 km).
The challenge to get to the lake is not the fairly easy hike, but the parking. There is not an official parking area, but a well used spot on the west side of US Highway 101, just north of the 341-mile marker and south of Pistol River. The parking area is immediately at the end of a guardrail. There is a fairly sharp drop off from the paved highway into a sand and dirt area. Luckily, there are two southbound lanes, which makes it a bit safer to slow down to look for the pull off.
Lola lake is located just north of Crook Point and the bird sanctuary of Saddle Rock – also known as Mack Reef. While Saddle Rock is more famous, it is also essentially unreachable by land. If hiking past Lola Lake to the beach, the beach stops shortly to the south in a fortress-like point. There are fences on the land marked as “No Trespassing” in order to keep people from getting near the refuge. To the south of Crook Point is private property that was planned to be developed as a golf course.