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:
Best razor clam beaches on the Oregon Coast
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.
Bike Riding: There are long and not so long options. One of the more popular rides is the 61 mile Wild Rivers Coast Scenic Bikeway. Another option is Whiskey Run.
Take a Hike: Two easy hikes are Frances Shrader Old Growth Trail and the Myrtlewood Trail. Both are short, and located near the Rogue River.
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.
Love Tim’s pandemic hair! I’m glad you have stayed healthy and safe; relief is in sight.
You should see it now! It’s longer than mine and we often sport the same hairstyle – pulled back in a ponytail 🤣😂🤣
We drove this highway on a motorcycle a few years back and loved it so much. I kept making hubby stop so I could take pictures. It was amazing.
Darlene, I think riding the coast highway on a motorcycle would be amazing! I’m so glad you got to enjoy it. I can certainly relate to wanting to stop every few minutes for pictures.
Wee got a tiny dose of the Oregon coastline a few years back. Absolutely breathtaking. Every view was stunning. We took SO many pictures!
Picture taking overload is a common occurrence along this route. Luckily it may be contagious, but rarely fatal 😁😁😁
Good for you for getting in such a wonderful trip and thanks for letting me tag along. I haven’t been to Oregon for many, many years and your photos remind me of what I’m missing.
Oregon has so much natural beauty from the coast to the mountains to the forests. Our crown jewel is Crater Lake. I hope some day you will enjoy a return visit. ❤️
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Wow, just wow.
I’m betting you have some fabulous memories of spending many happy hours/days enjoying Oregon’s beautiful coastline. We very fortunate to have grown up being surrounded by natural wonders.
Can’t go wrong visiting the Oregon Coast, Joanne. Thanks! Peggy and I have been trying to get out there for one week each month! Our most recent visits have included Florence (there’s a great little RV campground at the Port of Suislaw which is a ten minute walk away from the historic downtown and fine restaurants), Sunset Beach State Park, Bandon (great historic town and fantastic sea stacks) and Harris Beach SP. I’ll have a blog up on Friday featuring the sea stacks at Harris.
There a great 50 mile backpack/hiking trail that runs along the lower Rogue River that Peggy and I backpacked a couple of years ago when I was getting ready for my 750 mile hike down the PCT in honor of my 75th birthday. It’s a great spring hike before you can get into the mountains. Wildflowers and scenic river views galore. Plus interesting history. Too hot in the summer. –Curt
Curt, you are in MUCH better shape than I am. I’m afraid that backpacking 50 miles, let alone doing a 750-mile hike on the Pacific Coast Trail is beyond me now. I am familiar with many of the beaches you mentioned however and agree that they are well worth visiting.
Visiting a lovely beach is much more civilized than backpacking 750 miles, Joanne. Plus it’s easier to get wine. 🙂
When I mentioned Sunset State Beach on your last post (it’s next to Coos bay), I forgot to mention Shoreacres SP which is right next to Sunset Beach. If you haven’t been there, it has a beautiful flower garden reminiscent of English gardens. –Curt
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I am yearning to be on the road again. That is a beautiful place and it is calling and pulling me to travel!
Thanks for the post.
It is beautiful there. I hope you are back on the road soon 👍👍👍
Good to see you guys back again! This trip looks fabulous. I love your camping set-up – so cosy. Like you we’re itching to get back on the road again but don’t see it happening any time soon. A summer road trip probably and further afield towards the end of the year we hope.
What a year. Vaccinations yay!
Hi Alison and Don! You summed it up well ~ what a year indeed! We have enjoyed setting up our little “compounds” when we RV with friends. 😁
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My mom grew up in Gold Beach. We used to travel there, from So. Cal, twice a year as a child, to visit my grandparents. My mom lived the last 18 years of her life back in Gold Beach, before passing away in 2020. It literally is my most favorite place in the entire world, and I have travel and lived many places, including out of the country. As you stated, there is something about the Southern Oregon Coast that is different than any other place. It’s my go to place for re-energizing and renewing my mind and body. It’s a 12 hour drive now, from Washington, but always worth it. I inherited my mom’s house, and will one day retire there.
Terrie, nothing compares to the magnificent Oregon Coast. How fortunate you were to have gone there so frequently. It has got to hold so many wonderful memories for you, and yes, I completely agree with the powers to energize and renew your mind, body AND spirit there.