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Pacific Coast Scenic Byway - Oregon

Basics
Location:
The entire Pacific coast of Oregon
Surface:
Paved
Length:
363 miles (584 km)
Time:
Twelve hours to enjoy the Byway.
Season:
Drivable year round
Fees:
There are no fees to drive this Byway

Description

The Pacific Coast Scenic Byway surfs through Oregon's coastal beaches, towns, and rainforests, in a truly sublime view of life on the pacific.

The Pacific Coast Scenic Byway Starts in Astoria in the north, 74 miles from Portland. Travel south following the coastline along HWY 101. The drive ends at the California border and the Californian Section of the Pacific Coast Highway continues.

Everything from crashing and rolling waves, soaring and swooping gulls, to silent and tranquil rainforest can be experienced along this drive. Six Rivers National Forest is an excellent place for outdoor enthusiast to stop along the way. The forest is home to miles of hiking and biking trails and is especially well known for its fishing, whitewater rafting, and kayaking. Cape Blanco State Park has 1,800 acres along the coastline to enjoy the aquatic vistas and to see Cape Blanco lighthouse along with the historic Hughes house.

Points of Interest

Points of Interest Along The Way

Aquariums and Marine Centers (OR)

This byway hosts two nationally important aquariums, the Oregon Coast Aquarium and the Mark O. Hatfield Marine Science Center. Interestingly, both of these aquariums are in the coast city of Newport.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium ranks among the top ten aquariums in the nation, and since its opening in 1992, it has offered an excellent collection of marine treasures. Its indoor exhibits feature marine life found in wetlands, sandy and rocky shores, and the deep waters of the Pacific Ocean. Outdoor exhibits are home to sea otters, seals, sea lions, and a giant Pacific octopus.The Aquarium also has one of the largest walk-through seabird aviaries in North America. The Oregon Coast Aquarium is dedicated to marine education and conservation and was home to Keiko the whale, star of the movie Free Willy, from1996-1998.

The Mark O. Hatfield Marine Science Center was built in 1965 and is the hub of Oregon State University's coastal research. The center is dedicated to helping solve problems that affect marine life all over the world. It has recently gone through a five-million-dollar renovation and remodeling (it was closed for more than a year and reopened in 1997.) The newly renovated Center has a public wing that focuses on the research and findings of the Center's 300-plus marine scientists.

Their work is presented through interactive multimedia displays based on the theme, "Searching for Patterns in a Complex World. "Through these displays, visitors can explore the geology of the ocean floor, learn about coastal hazards (such as earthquakes and tsunamis,) and find out about advancements made in whale tracking and research. The center's exhibits include a "touch" tank of tidal animals and a live octopus.

Directions

Newport, Oregon, Milepost 142.2

Astoria (OR)

Astoria is located on the Columbia River, and because of this prime location, it has been the site of one of the earliest towns in Oregon. It was founded in April 1811, only six years after the Lewis and Clark expedition. This expedition opened up the fur trade in the area, and Astoria was settled because of the importance of this trade. Throughout the years, Astoria has remained an important commercial center. The city today is known for its charming Victorian architecture, steep streets, and views of the Columbia River. A number of historic sites are located within the city,including: Fort Astoria Park, Heritage Museum, Flavel House,Columbia River Maritime Museum, Astoria Column, the Old Firefighter Museum and the impressive Astoria-Megler Bridge.

Directions

Astoria, OR

Battle Rock (OR)

The Tututni people lived on and near this site thousands of years prior to the arrival of white settlers, and their tribe stretched over the Southern Oregon Coast and lower Rogue River. In 1792, George Vancouver, one of the first Europeans to come into contact with these natives, described them as being curious, mild,and peaceable. Understandably, the Tututni's Quatomah band was not as friendly some years later when Capt. William Tichenor came with muskets and cannons to establish a European settlement right in their village.

In the early 1850s, trappers, miners, and farmers infiltrated the entire length of the Rogue River, and their plows and livestock destroyed the grass seeds, acorns, camas, and other food sources important to the native people. Mining depleted trout and salmon.And, in 1855, as had been done across the continent, US troops forced-marched the natives from their land to a reservation.

About 1,200 people were held at Port Orford in open pens until the steamship Columbia deported them north to the Coast Reservation. The tension this caused mounted and broke into attacks all up and down the Rogue River by both whites and natives,culminating in the 1855-56 Rogue Rivers wars. The last resistors, Chief "John" and his band were marched 125 miles up the coast to the reservation.

Directions

In Port Orford.

Blacklock Point (OR)

A wonderful walking trail takes you to Blacklock Point, where you can take in the white foaming ocean water crashing against the colorful, luminescent cliffs of the South Coast.

Directions

7 miles north of Port Orford across from Pacific High School, off Airport Road.

Brookings (OR)

Nestled on the southernmost Oregon coast, at the heart of America's Wild Rivers coast, between the breathtaking scenery of the Oregon Coast Range and the Pacific Ocean, the community of Brookings-Harbor offers an incomparable quality of life. It is a place where wild and scenic rivers flow through towering forests. A place where you can discover a quiet waterfront town overlooking majestic ocean vistas. And a place where you will find some of the best weather and recreation on the west coast of the U.S.

Cape Blanco State Park (OR)

Cape Blanco State Park started as a ranch owned by the Hughes, a hard working and religious pioneer family, who maintained success in an area that was both remote and beautiful (the Park sits on the westernmost tip of Oregon.) The Hughes family occupied the ranch for one hundred and eleven years.

The 1,800-acre park contains not only the historic Hughes house and the family cemetery, but hiking trails, beach access, a campground with fifty-eight electric campsites, and a horse camp with riding trails. This park also includes the Cape Blanco Lighthouse and views of the fathoms it oversees.

Directions

Located off Hwy 101 near the Sixes River, before you reach Bandon. Turn off at Milepost 296.6

Cape Perpetua Scenic Area (OR)

Captain Cook discovered Cape Perpetua on March 7, 1778. The cape was named for St. Perpetua, a martyr who died on that day in 203A.D. The area today is one which has plentiful recreational opportunities and places to enjoy the natural wonders of the ocean. There are a variety of trails where you can explore the unique seashore and forest setting, which is a coastal rain forest. There are a variety of unique feature in this scenic area, such as Devil's Churn, which spouts water at intervals. Sites to see in the area include: Devil’s Churn, Devil’s Churn Viewpoint, Cape Perpetua Campground, Interpretive Center, Trails, Cooks Chasm,Viewpoint and Picnic Area, Forested Roadside and Slope, Neptune State Recreation Site, and Captain Cook Point.

Directions

OR

Carl G. Washburne Memorial State Park (OR)

The Carl G. Washburne Memorial State Park was named after the Oregon highway commissioner in the 1930s. The land was donated by Washburne's widow, Narcissa. There are 1,100 acres of sand dunes that have stabilized and are covered by shore pine, Sitka, spruce, small fir, cedar, hemlock and other species. Understory includes evergreen, huckleberry, rhododendron, salal, manzanita and more. The area is also a popular spot to view elk.

Directions

Near Milepost 178.3 near Heceta Head Lighthouse.

Cascade Head (OR)

Cascade Head is a preserve that showcases the various plants and animals that live along the coast. This area in particular has many rare plants and wildlife species. Cascade Head is known for its native species that used to dominate the coastal area. Another draw to this site is the Oregon silverspot butterfly. This butterfly is listed as a threatened species, and is only known to live in fiveother locations in the world. Elk, deer, coyote, Pacific giant salamander, bald eagle, and great horned owl are only some of the other species of wildlife that can be found in the area.

Directions

OR

Six Rivers National Forest (OR)

The forest is best known for its valued timber, dispersed recreation, and outstanding anadromous fishing. Whitewater rafting and kayaking provide visitors with exciting water recreation opportunities.

Details

Location:
The entire Pacific coast of Oregon
Surface:
Paved
Length:
363 miles (584 km)
Time:
Twelve hours to enjoy the Byway.
Main Roads:
US-101 S/Oregon Coast Hwy and US-101 S
Season:
Drivable year round
Fees:
There are no fees to drive this Byway
Additional Details:
Also known as Central and Northern Oregon Coast Scenic Byways

Map + Directions

Customizable Directions


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