GOLD BEACH, OREGON
Gold Beach has a stunning location, sitting right on the shores of where the Rogue River dumps into the Pacific Ocean. Just 40 miles north of the California border, it can be a destination all on it’s own, or a stop while exploring along the Pacific Coast Highway.
Last August, Tim and I, along with two other couples, drove our RV’s from Southern California to spend a week camped on the north shore of the Rogue River at Kimball Creek Bend RV Resort. COVID-19 was in bloom, but not as severely as it would later develop. Still, we used precautions, wore masks when needed, kept some distance between each other, and interacted outside around our campfire, or communal table.
The Oregon coastline is stunning. Having grown up in Southern Oregon, I’m sure that I remain a bit prejudiced, but, it STILL displays one of the most beautiful shorelines I have witnessed.
There are several ways to spend a few days along this stretch of highway, whether you are a camper or car road warrior.
Fishing/Clamdigging/Crabbing: Considered to be World-class, there are options year round on the river or ocean for salmon, steelhead, trout, lingcod, halibut and rockfish. Charters can be arranged through your campsite host, hotel, or online at FishingBooker.com. You can dig for your own clams (they don’t get any fresher) or throw out a pot for the local Dungeness crabs. The months of October – December are best for crabbing. If you are interested in trying your hand clam digging, choose low tide in May – July. You can of course buy fresh fish and seafood locally. Here is a link you may find helpful:
Jetboating: My old classmate, Bill McNair, still owns and operates Mail Boats & Jerry’s Rogue Jets. A couple of years earlier we took the 104 mile Wilderness Whitewater tour and it was such an enjoyable day. They operate daily from May 1- October 15th. I can highly recommend it, and it you happen to run into Bill, please give him my regards 🙂
The Mary D Hume, an old steamer, built in 1881, right here in Gold Beach is designated an historical monument. She now sits partially underwater in the harbor next to the entrance to the Jetboat rides. She had a history hauling goods from Oregon to San Francisco, as a whaling ship in Alaska where she also served the cannery trade. Finally ended her career as a tug boat before meeting her demise, only a very short distance from where she was born.
Here’s some pictures and information from our jetboating adventure in 2018
Scenic Drives: As I mentioned above, I am a HUGE fan of this stunning area. You really can’t go wrong simply driving along the highway, and choosing random places to pull over to admire the view, walk on the sand, or explore tide pools. Some of my favorite spots include Arch Rock, Myers Creek Beach (Pistol River), Arizona Beach, Otter Point, and Natural Bridges Viewpoint
Rafting/Kayaking/Canoeing: I’m not sure how current this list is, as I don’t see a published date on it, but perhaps a starting point for recommendations. The reviews mostly show 2018, so you might have to research this one.
Golfing: Be sure to check out Bandon Dunes Golf Resort if you are addicted to golf and like to tryout a new course while traveling. Roughy 50 miles north of Gold Beach, this wonderful resort can be a destination all by itself, offering golf, lodging and dining.
Cape Blanco Lighthouse: You combine several options here (open April – October) being located close to Cape Blanco State Park, which offers camping, hiking and beach combing with a visit to the lighthouse. Climb to the top where you just might catch a glimpse of a migrating gray whale.
And finally, you could use Gold Beach as your starting point to drive the length of Oregon, taking in miles and miles of scenic wonder. You can even search out all 11 Lighthouses, 9 of which are open to the public.
Sometimes there is an ebb and flow to the universe that only makes sense in the rearview mirror. After we had booked our campground reservations, I discovered that the site was within walking distance of my cousin’s family river cabin. As luck would have it, Ginny and her husband Barc, were available to join us on the river for a few days. They even hosted the six of us to a delicious BBQ on their deck.
Blackberries grow in abundance on their multi-acre property and Ginny was in the process of picking blackberries when we arrived to make us a mouth-watering cobbler.
They graciously allowed us to pick several containers full to take back home before we departed.
In case you are new to our blog, and would like to see a bit more of this area, here is a link from a trip we took to this same coastal wonder a few years earlier. It shows pictures of when we visited the lighthouse, as well as more beach and scenery shots.
GRATITUDE MOMENT: I am always at peace when returning to Southern Oregon. Something about the fresh sea air, breathtaking scenery, walking on the sand, and being outdoors enjoying nature, brings me back to my childhood. My parents brought me and my sister to these same beautiful beaches where we dug up clams, went crabbing, and if we were lucky, ate our fill of Dungeness Crab that night for dinner. Priceless memories. It was another blessing to be able to spend time with my cousin and her husband, and be gifted with sharing a wonderful meal together. Sitting outside under the stars, visiting, laughing, catching up on family and adventures, was a gift for us all.
We hope you and your family are staying safe and looking forward to the days ahead in the (hopefully) not too distant future when we can once again get back out there. In the meantime, we wish you joy and leave you with a reminder to STAY OPEN TO THE POSSIBILITIES.