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Home by the Sea's Oregon Coast Guidebook Part 2.

Part 2 - Cape Blanco to the Redwoods (see also Part One)

"Covering popular scenic viewpoints and time-tested attractions from Florence and its Sahara Desert high dunes to the Redwood Forest's Stout Grove cathedral of trees just over the California border ... this website has been developed by and for discerning Bed & Breakfast Guests ..."NewHoo.com

For A Happy Passenger
Consider traveling SOUTH along Oregon's Coast

Mileposts: (Note: Whole numbered MP numbers are real. The fractional ones are estimates.)

MP 293
A&T Myrtlewood
is located on the east side of Hwy 101, a little north of Pacific High School. Guests who appreciate old world craftsmanship/ingenuity and the pleasure of doing business directly with local Artisans are pleased to discover A&T Myrtlewood where Myrna and John Austin and Sandra and Loyd Todd specialize in creating one of a kind art objects including wildlife carvings and paintings, walking sticks, bowls, pine needle baskets, clocks, rifle stock blanks, plaques, cribbage boards, spoons and scoops. The Austins and Todds are two couples who have partnered in business for over 30 years and, "enjoy working with myrtlewood more than any other thing that we have done." They have won many awards with their carvings and art pieces and been featured in many articles. They operate their own sawmill and make their myriad of beautiful finished products from logs they mill on site. Each of the four adds their own unique artistic expertise & helps out where needed. In addition to Myrtlewood, they handle other woods that grow in this area such as Big Leaf Maple, Tanoak, Yew Wood (when available), Port Orford Cedar, Western Red Cedar, Redwood, Chinquepin, Cascara, Holly, Red Alder, and Black Walnut. They also sell lumber and unfinished pieces of wood and have gone out of their way to help our guests find an economical way to ship even lumber home!
Myrna Austin's pine Needle Hat

Port Orford
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Cape Blanco Airport
Cape Blanco State Airport
Blacklock Point
Minimal Airport Service consists of parking tiedowns. Runway is asphalt in fair condition and 5100 x 150 ft with lots of cranberry bogs nearby. Hiking trails to Cape Blanco, Blacklock Point, and Floras Lake all begin from the airport's parking lot.
Cape Blanco State Park
Historic Hughes House
Cape Blanco Lighthouse Cape Blanco Lighthouse
(541) 332-6774
Turn off here in Curry County for a spectacular windswept seascape vista and drive a country lane to the western most part of our contiguous 48 states. Curry County is the southern part of the Oregon Coast and this area is referred to as Oregon's Siskiyou Coast because it parallels the Siskiyou Mountains. Outstanding aerial views of Cape Blanco and Curry County can be found on local photographer, Gary Percy's Digital Photography website.

On the way out to the lighthouse you will be driving past some of the area's commercial Cranberry Bogs.The lighthouse is open May 1st - Sept 30th (Closed Mondays). Arrive no later than 3pm for a lighthouse-host guided tour, donations accepted. Open year round on the Internet is The Friends of Cape Blanco excellent online gift store - Lighthouse Gifts from the Cape. All proceeds support this non-profit organization.

The hobby and sport of flying Radio Controlled (R/C) Model Airplanes is becoming more popular year-round at Cape Blanco State Park. Model soaring is both an art and a science and reportedly the fastest growing segment of model aviation. Inherently friendly to the environment and considerate of nearby neighbors, it is both a quiet communion with nature, and one that provides a great outlet for creative and competitive desires. Cape Blanco Slope Soaring Year-round dependable wind, convenient parking, tree-less slopes, supportive Oregon State Park personel and fellow flyers, all combine to make this an outstanding location for slope soaring. The southern Oregon Coast is well known for its dependable wind conditions. To view Cape Blanco's current and recent wind data, visit Mesowest's Station K92S Cape Blanco station interface webpage.

The campground, historic house and lighthouse are open, May 1st - Sept 30th (Closed Mondays). The Slope Soaring Site is open year round.

To the right you can see a virtual reality panorama (236k) taken from the isthmus of land connecting the lighthouse with the park when you visit Virtual Guidebooks. Cape Blanco QTVR Cape Blanco Lighthouse is the oldest standing lighthouse on the West Coast and was commissioned in 1870 to aid shipping generated by gold mining and lumber industry. Its clifftop location is 245 ' above the ocean and then its classically shaped conical tower rises another 59'. Recently restored, it is open seasonally for day tours Thursday-Monday. The lighthouse is open to the public through a cooperating agreement between the Bureau of Land Management, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, Oregon State Historic Preservation Office, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and the Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians and the Coquille Indians.

The entire Cape Blanco State Park is a highly rated wildlife viewing area with great twilight bird watching opportunities and easy access to the Sixes River down by the Historic Hughes House. For a very special experience, try to be here to enjoy music, cookies & warm spiced cider during Christmas at the Historic Hughes House.

Hikers and Beach Walkers find easy access here to a stretch of Oregon's famous Oregon Coast Trail. The trail will always be a 'work-in-progress', so before you start out, be sure to click HERE to download a 24 MB copy of the current Oregon Parks Department's Oregon Coast Trail Guide.
MP 297
Grassy Knob Wilderness Trail
Note: This road is no longer driveable in a car. There are very few places to turn around and the heavy brush along the sides of the road will scratch whatever vehicle you are using. With that in mind, here are your directions.
For Ancient Forest access, go east on county road #196 for 4.2 miles to the end of the pavement. Continue .3 mile to a steel gate. Pass through the gate and drive 3.5 miles to the trailhead. Walk past the second gate approximately .3 mile. When the road begins to level out, watch for the unsigned foot path on your right in a grassy slope. An old lookout site & panoramic views await. Covered in a tangled rain forest of coniferous evergreens thick with an ankle-grabbing understory, Grassy Knob Wilderness lies rugged and steep. Elevations vary from almost sea level to more than 2,000 feet on summits that include Grassy Knob, at 2,342 feet, on the western boundary. Off-trail hiking rates as an extremely rough experience, hence the general absence of visitors. The route along Dry Creek is passable and wondrously deep with old-growth Douglas fir and cedar. The Elk River forms part of the southern boundary and offers Class IV white water.
MP 298
Elk River Salmon Hatchery
(541) 332-7025
Go east up this sparsely settled beautiful valley to see a particularly well managed salmon hatchery. Work permitting, a state technician will be happy to answer your questions. The paved road continues on to beautiful views of the river's canyons. Some portions of the Elk River are Federally protected as Wild and Scenic. John Paul Mitchell Hair Salon Company donates a portion of its 'Natural' shampoo sales to the Friends of the Elk River Legal Defense Fund.
MP 300
Port Orford Visitors Center
(541) 332-4106

Port Orford Life Saving Station Port Orford Dock QTVR Clicking on the left photo will download a virtual reality panorama (1 MB) of the Port of Port Orford's Dock, from Don Bain's Virtual Guidebooks. Port Orford was the first place settled by whites in Curry county. Capt. Wm. Tichenor, one of the early navigators of the Oregon Coast, filed a Donation Land Claim on the townsite of Port Orford and then in 1851 began selling 50' x 100' building lots to prospective gold seekers. By February 1856, local Native Americans were suffering so much abuse, they rose against the settlers. The war ended that same year and the surviving Indians were sent to reservations where most of them subsequently died. To your right is the recently restored Port Orford Heads Coast Guard Lifeboat Station. Built during the depression of the 1930's, it was a boon to the town by providing local employment during construction and then on-going rescue operations. This historic lifeboat station both served and saved the Port Orford area for over 30 years. Thinking of Beach Combing ? Here is the best page to find all current weather data including our Sunrise-Sunset, Moonrise-Moonset, tides, day length and wind speed at Cape Blanco: Webmaster David Mott's Port Orford Moon Phase/Wind/Weather and (searchable) Tides
MP 301.3
(877) 332-2855
(Geocode 42.7424480 -124.4944300)
After 43 years in Port Orford, Brenda & I have reached retirement. During the Fall of 2011, the sale of our property closed escrow and we retired our Home by the Sea Bed & Breakfast. (We are now seeking a buyer for our homebythesea.com Domain Name.) During our 23 B&B Seasons we had hosted over 5000 wonderful visitors and referred 100's & 100's of our overflow guests to a friend's ocean view motel a couple of blocks west of us. Rockne Berge is the veteran Manager of the Castaway by the Sea Motel. The 26 units are very well maintained and each has an extraordinary ocean view overlooking Port Orford's harbor and unique crane-launched fishing fleet. People looking for quality, well located Vacation Rentals would do well to consider our venerable neighbors: Battle Rock House; Cat's Meow Vacation Cottage; Castaway Lodge; and, Port Watch.

We sold to the NOAA 2010-11 Award of Excellence "Organization of the Year - Port Orford Ocean Resource Team. Our property is now scheduled to be re-purposed into a fisheries research center, with our former B&B facilities providing lodging for working scientists. P.O.O.R.T's ambitious mission is to pioneer the establishment the Oregon Coast's first sustainable fishery.

A couple of years ago, our Community received very good economic development news. Our Port and The Port Orford Ocean Resource Team and a group of other governmental agencies announced the completion of a $10 million Marine Project proposal for Port Orford." It is one of the Oregon Coast's few 'Green & shovel-ready' economic development projects ready for funding. You can read all about it HERE. This tranformative project is ever so gradually being funded. The 2011 purchase of our property by POORT is visible evidence of the progress being made.

I've recently created and then uploaded two Port Orford-related videos to YouTube to help raise the visibility of our sleepy Community. They are my first efforts and brief with lots of action shots! I hope you'll like them: (3min 11sec) Port of Port Orford Oregon - Recreational and Commercial Fishing for over a Century and made on the beach below us, (1min 25sec) Port Orford Oregon Battle Rock Beach Surfers

Battle Rock Park and Historic Site Battle Rock Panorama Battle Rock Park
Nine gold seekers fought the Rogue Indians here. Many Indians were killed, and it was only by the cloaking of an extremely foggy, moon-less night that the whites were able to escape death. Click left photo for a Live Beach Webcam View.
Photographers on Battle Rock Beach The panoramic view from here of Humbug mountain, at 1756' the highest on the Oregon coast, is an all-time photographers' and painters' favorite. This is where you'll see dramatic clusters of eroded sea stacks, sentinel-like offshore. You'll also see mature forests growing right down to the beach and, depending on the season, migrating California Gray Whales swimming by.

Oregon Wreath Oregon Wreath is a 30 year old family tree farm specializing
in premium evergreen foilage. Their signature product is Port
Orford Cedar, a world renowned cedar with a delicate
lacy texture and a unique pungent fragrance.

Port Orford Arts Council
Port Orford's Arts Council has an extensive website where one can learn about our local community of Fiber Artists, Glass Artists and Ceramists, Jewelry and Gem Artists, Musicians & Bands, Painters, Papermakers/Bookbinders, Photographers, Scrimshanders, Sculptors, Wood Artists, and Writers. I have built a local Artisans Webpage to showcase the excellent examples of the quality of Arts & Crafts you can expect to find in and around Port Orford.

Myrtlewood Tree Local woodworkers specialize in 'Myrtlewood' and long before you have arrived in Port Orford (from either direction) any traveler will have seen many stores that advertise 'Myrtlewood', a slow growing broad-leafed evergreen with leaves that look like bay leaves, found primarily along the Southwest Oregon Coast. The grain of its wood is often intricately patterned in subtle colors that range from deep oranges and yellows to satiny grays. It is heavy and hard, about the same density as cherrywood, and can be sanded to a fine and silky finish. Because it is the ideal material for bowls, and a whole range of turned products, Myrtlewood is the basis for a cottage industry that stretches along the 110 miles of coastline between Brookings and North Bend. Since it takes between 150 to 200 years for a myrtle to grow a trunk 16 inches in diameter, it is difficult to get the large pieces necessary for big bowls and platters.

Salad Bowl Pedestal Bowl Because of the rarity of the wood and the small scale of the businesses run by local artisans, Myrtlewood is rarely sold outside of the Northwest. For a good sample of the art of Myrtlewood in the Port Orford area, visit: Rick Cook Gallery; The Wooden Nickel; and A&T Myrtlewood. (I personally consider Myrtlewood to be a wonderful 'Folk Art' that most likely will become fashionably artistic and collectible just about the time we run out of Myrtlewood lumber ...) If you are a woodworker or artist looking for that special piece of Oregon-dried 'hobby-wood' to take home and work up ... you will find that John Austin of A&T Myrtlewood offers an extensive selection of Cascara, Port Orford Cedar, Western Red Cedar, Chinquapin (Western Chestnut), Holly, Big Leaf Maple, Myrtlewood, Redwood, Tanoak, Yew, and Black Walnut.

Mileposts, continued:
MP 302.2
Hubbard Creek
This beach access has excellent parking and a trail that takes you safely under the bridge to the beach. Hubbard Creek (aka Doyle's Beach) and Battle Rock Beach are very well known among Oregon Surfers.
MP 303.5
Rocky Point
This has a very small difficult to get to parking area, but its beach is well known for its clam beds and beachcombing qualities.
MP 306.5
Humbug Mountain
Humbug Mountain and Humbug Mountain Trail
The mountain has a steep, well maintained 3 mile trail. A new trail forks off near the bottom and takes you past some of our remaining Ancient Forest.
MP 307.0
McGribble Creek Scenic Loop to Elk River
Turn off 101 at the entrance to Humbug Mtn. State Park and follow the signs up in the hills, past McGribble campground and over to Elk River Road. Turn and follow the river downstream to 101. On the way you will pass the Elk River Fish Hatchery. It is open to the public and if time allows, employees give informal tours of the facilities.
MP 307.7
Humbug Mountain Picnic Area
This is set along side a creek and in a grove of huge, old growth Myrtlewood trees. The gazebo in this park is a favorite among locals for family reunion picnics, wedding receptions, and the annual Port Orford Community Easter Egg Hunt.
MP 313.2
Prehistoric Gardens
'The Gardens' - One of America's Great Roadside Attractions. Beginning in 1955, one man lovingly crafted all the life size dinosaur replicas you will see here. He has done his best to make them as scientifically authentic as possible and then set them in a beautifully landscaped piece of Oregon's Rain Forest. Admission is charged.
MP 318.5
Honeybear Campground Rv Park and Dinner House
These folks make the sausage we serve and run an excellent German-style Dinner House, Tues - Sun (One menu, served family style at 6 pm. Live 'oldies' music and dance floor)
Abe Hanks Myrtlewood
Source of this unique lumber for craftspersons. Visit their small gallery of locally made myrtlewood products.
MP 327.7
Rogue River Boat Trips MailBoat Hydro-Jet
HydroJet trips for adults. 64, 80, or 104 mile excursions available from May - October. I suggest the 104 mile trip because it takes you as far as possible into the National Wild & Scenic Area and thus maximizes your exposure to wildlife. Wonderful!! (ask about the Sturgeon who jumped onto the boat story), wear layers and definitely take sunscreen and hats. While it may be cool when you depart at 7:45 am, it's very likely to really warm up around the first few bends and then be chilly again as you return downriver around 4 pm.
MP 328
Frances Shrader Memorial Trail - 1 Mile Loop Ancient Forest Trail
Turn east on the Jerrys Flat Road at the south end of the Rogue River Bridge in Gold Beach. Head upriver for about 10 miles into the Siskiyou National Forest where you will see a collection of signs, one of which will direct you to your right to the Frances Schrader Memorial Trail. Once you start in, on a short stretch of pavement there are very few turn-around spots. Go 2.4 miles, look for the marked trailhead and pick up a trail guide. You will find 12 numbered stations to take you through stands of Douglas fir, Port Orford Cedar, Tanoak, Maple, Myrtlewood and others. It takes about 30 minutes to walk this beautiful trail. (Attn: Slow Walkers - Consider carrying Insect repellant)
MP 329.6
U.S. Forest Service Office in Gold Beach
(541) 247-6651
Information about Forest Service tours, hiking trails, maps, etc.
MP 334.5
Cape Sebastian Scenic Corridor
Short drive to the top. Take the south fork for the best views. This headland is a towering 700' above the ocean and excellent for whale watching. For hikers, there is also part of the Oregon Coast Trail that goes through the parking lot. Note: Roll your windows down with caution and Park your car facing INTO the wind.
MP 336.9
Myers Creek
Stop here for a close up view of some of the more rugged rock formations along our coastline. This is an excellent beach for clamming, shell collecting, beachcombing & bird watching.
MP 344.6
Arch Rock Viewpoint
This is a beautiful park setting with tall spruce trees lending a cathedral-like feeling. Look about 8/10th mile south for an unmarked trail to the shoreline. This is best done at low tides. Don't get caught by a tide change! Picnic tables near tall spruce trees offer a view of this basalt archway just offshore.
MP 345.9
Natural Bridges Cove
One of my favorite, easy to reach viewpoints. Just follow the short trail from the parking area. The 'bridges' you will see are the remains of a collapsed ancient sea cave.
MP 347.9
Thomas Creek Bridge
This 345' high bridge and parking viewpoint is the highest coastal bridge north of San Francisco and the highest bridge in the State of Oregon. Trails at the south end of the bridge lead downward to offer different views of the bridge.
MP 348.5
Indian Sands Trail
Starting at the south end of the parking area, you will find a 1/2 mile trail that will take you through a wooded area to a dune from which you can view a panorama of beautiful coves, surf and sculpted sandstone. This is an historical site where Native Americans frequently gathered. WARNING: Watch children. Edge of sand may suddenly give way.
MP 351.3
House Rock Viewpoint
From here you can view the coast from Point Saint George in the south to Cape Sebastian to the north. There is a monument here to Samuel H. Boardman, the first Superintendent of the Oregon State Parks System and the man most responsible for acquiring land for public use, and referred to as the Father of the Oregon State Parks. There was a World War II Air Raid Sentry Tower here and from this viewpoint you can see a rock formation resembling a house.
MP 355.7
State of Oregon Welcome Center
(541) 469-4117
Look for this beautifully landscaped facility on the east side of 101. It has ample parking, modern restrooms and wind protected picnic sites available year round. This professionally managed visitors' information center is open on a seasonal basis and has walls of travel literature. On the subject of picnic lunches, I suggest a local market and have them build a special sandwich for your visit to the Redwoods. As you choose your lunch items, remember that some fruits (apples, cherries & grapes) are not allowed into California, and (seasonally) you will be briefly stopped at the California border Agricultural Station. The control of various fruit flies is a serious problem for California and as we each take our turn at being a Tourist, we need to take personal responsibility to each do the right thing.
MP 36.25
Jedediah Smith Redwoods-Stout Grove Jedediah Smith Redwoods-Stout Grove
(Note: At 340 feet tall, and 20 feet in diameter the Stout Tree is the sixth tallest tree in the world. The Stout Family bench in the Stout Grove is an excellent place to view it from.) Certified Arborist Mario Vaden has devoted a great deal of time, effort & expense to documenting both the Jedediah Smith and Prairie Creek Redwoods Parks and has published some of his work on his extensive website: Grove of Titans & Atlas Grove Redwood Groves.

The Stout Grove is located within a World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve. Download the official 4 page (1 MB) brochure of the park. During the Summer/Fall season your easiest access to the Stout Grove is via the Park Dept's 'Summer Footbridge'. This temporary bridge makes for a very pleasant walk. To find this, turn east off Hwy. 101 onto Hwy 199 and continue until you reach the Hiouchi Information Center on your LEFT. Park your car there and obtain current park information. Note, this is the best place to picnic in the Redwoods - without mosquitoes!. The Grove is a leisurely walk from here. You cross Hwy.199, go through the campground down to the river and cross over by using the Summer Footbridge.

Summer Bridge With the permission of a Park Ranger, bicyclists are allowed to use the Summer Footbridge to cross the Smith River into the Stout Grove where they can then ride Howland Hill Road into Crescent City. Note also, that our July-September guests have often mentioned that the river is warm enough for swimming ... so remember to bring bathing suits! And - (Attn: Slow Walkers - Consider carrying Insect repellant)

The Stout Grove has both a North and South Entrance

To reach the North Entrance of the Stout Grove from Hwy 101, head east on Hwy.199 past the Hiouchi Information Center a couple of miles. Turn right onto South Fork Road. Bear right on Douglas Park Road which eventually becomes Howland Hill Road. (Travelers from Ashland/Grants Pass turn left off Hwy 199). About a mile into the park, turn right at the paved entrance to the Stout Grove parking area. Redwood Stump

Walk down the hill and say a silent 'Thank You' to the Stout Family and the Save the Redwoods League who made this grove their first acquisition way back in the 1920's. Be sure to take the short, self-guided walking loop tour of the grove. It is an easy walk that takes you past a fire-hollowed tree, a couple of enormous fallen trees, and leaning trees with exposed root systems so large you can walk beneath them! Once back at your car, if you would like to go directly to Crescent City, turn right as you leave the Stout Grove. This will put you back on Howland Hill Road. It will be a beautiful drive that takes you past a HUGE stump just beyond a small bridge. Because of its accessibility this HUGE stump presents a great photo opportunity!

There are two ways to reach the South Entrance from Hwy 101.

(1) Arriving from the south, after you enter Crescent City, turn right at the traffic light onto Elk Valley Rd. Follow Elk Valley Rd. for 1.5 miles until you reach a stop sign. Turn right onto Howland Hill Road. Stout Grove is located off the Howland Hill Road and has a nice parking area and rest room facilities. There are many interesting trails along the way including The Boy Scout Trail, Nickerson Ranch Trail and Mill Creek Trail. If you continue east, in approximately 6 miles Howland Hill Road will change into the Douglas Park Road which continues a short distance and intersects Highway 199. Star Wars fans will be interested in knowing that onsite filming of "Return of the Jedi" was done in a similar area to the north on privately-owned land. And, that area was logged after the movie was completed.

(2) Approaching from the north, take the turnoff for Hwy. 199. When you reach Hwy. 199, continue across onto "Elk Valley X-Road" which in turn connects you with the northern end of Elk Valley Rd. Turn right on Elk Valley Rd., continue towards Crescent City for approximately 2 miles, turning left onto Howland Hill Road. Proceed on Howland Hill Rd. into the Jedediah Smith Redwoods.

As you enter the park, Howland Hill Road becomes a gravel 1.5 lane road that can have serious potholes during the Winter months. A mile or so in and just before you drive across the one lane Mill Creek Bridge, look to your left for a HUGE stump. Drive across the bridge, park, walk back to take a closer look and to prove to yourself how ancient this forest is, count as many growth rings as you have time for! Then about 1/4 mile past the bridge, watch closely for a small paved road to your left where the sign for the Stout Grove will direct you to a secluded parking area just uphill from the grove itself.

Helpful SW Oregon Coast
telephone numbers:
(North to South)

Oregon Department of Tourism (800) 547-7842;
Oregon Department of Parks & Recreation (800) 452-5687
Florence Chamber of Commerce: (541) 997-3128
Reedsport/Winchester Bay Chamber of Commerce (800) 247-2156
North Bend/Coos Bay/Charleston Chamber of Commerce (800) 824-8486
Bandon Chamber of Commerce (541) 347-9616
Port Orford Chamber of Commerce (541) 332-8055
Gold Beach Chamber of Commerce (800) 525-2334
Brookings Chamber of Commerce (800) 535-9469
California Redwood National Park (800) 423-6101

(Click HERE to proceed to part ONE of these Guests' Travel Tips)


Alan & Brenda Mitchell

Our Homebythesea.com Domain Name is For Sale

alan -at- homebythesea.com

Copyright © 1996 to Present
Updated: October 15, 2011