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Visitor and Interpretive Centers
Couple with the area between Port Orford and Brookings, Highway 101 is at its most spectacular. Keeping this stretch of the highway from sliding into the Pacific Ocean has been a continual challenge to the Oregon Department of Transportation, and evidence of this ongoing struggle can be seen in many places along the way.
South of Gold Beach and the Roague River, Highway 101 crosses the Rogue River, Bridge, the highest bridge on the coast north of San Francisco. This part of the highway also includes Geisel Monument State Historic Site, as well as Harris Beach and Samuel H. Boardman state parks.
Mile by mile:
328.0 Gold Beach (ZIP 97444)
328.2 Port of Gold Beach
Boat marina, municipal airport, and the homeport of Jerry’s Rogue Jets.
328.8 The Event Center at the Beach
This is the site of the Curry County Fair held in July and various functions held throughout the year.
It is hard to miss the Civil War-era cannon on the front lawn of the Curry County Historical Museum. In 2005 renovations included more display areas and new exhibits. Closed January, open Tuesdays through Saturdays, 247-9396.
329.9 South Beach Park, Gold Beach Visitors Center
Easy beach access from a paved parking lot and paved path. 247-7526
330.8 Hunter Creek Beach Access
334.8 Cape Sebastian State Scenic Corridor
Head uphill for a panoramic view. A 1-1/2-mile trail begins atop the headland and ends at the rocky tip of the cape, then connects with the Oregon Coast Trail.
337.0 Myers Creek
Easy access to a long stretch of beach and interesting rock formations.
338.0 Beach Access
An unpaved turnout provides access for windsurfers.
339.0 Pistol River
The small community of Pistol River is a mile inland from the estuary of the river. Pistol River State Park has been cut off from the ocean beach by a change in the river’s course, but there are picnic tables and some nice areas for the energetic hiker. A historical marker next to Hwy 101 commemorates the 1856 Battle of Pistol River.
339.7 Pistol River to Carpenterville Road
Start here for a driving adventure on a paved back road that runs roughly parallel to Hwy 101 and rejoins it north of Brookings at milepost 354.7. Not advisable for RVs.
343–353 Samuel H. Boardman State Park
Boardman is a long, narrow park consisting primarily of about 12 miles of rugged coastline and pocket beaches. Several viewpoint waysides have picnic tables. The principal ones are: 344.6 Arch Rock Point, 346.0 Thunder Rock Cove, 346.1 Natural Bridges Cove, 347.5 North Island Trail, 348.5 Indian Sands Trail, 349.3 Whalehead Trail, 351.3 House Rock , 351.9 Cape Ferrelo, 352.6 Lone Ranch, and 353.8 Rainbow Rock.
The beach at Thunder Rock Cove is considered one of the best of the sheltered beaches, or bikini beaches, on the coast. Look for wild goats. The portion of the Oregon Coast Trail that runs through Curry County begins at Cape Ferrelo and ends at Humbug Mountain State Park. The entire coast trail provides more than 300 miles to hike.
347.9 Thomas Creek Bridge
The highest bridge in Oregon crosses 345 feet above creek bottom. Built in 1964, the bridge is supported by two steel legs. To appreciate the structure’s magnitude, pull into the parking area at the bridge’s south end. Follow a short trail west for the best look at the gigantic geometric steel legs supporting the bridge.
354.7 Pistol River–Carpenterville Road South Access
This is a paved back-road adventure that loops back to milepost 339.7
355.6 Harris Beach State Park
Named for George Harris, a pioneer from Scotland who raised sheep and cattle here, Harris Beach has 150 campsites as well as picnic facilities. The largest island of the Oregon Coast, Bird Island, is a breeding place for a variety of birds, including tufted puffins. Across Hwy 101 is the State Welcome Center and Rest Area. Restrooms are open year-round but the visitor center is closed in winter months. Wireless Internet access is provided.
357.0 Brookings–Harbor (ZIP 97415)