One of Oregon's newest state parks lies about halfway between Gold Beach and Port Orford, off Highway 101. Totally undeveloped, even unmarked, the views are well worth the effort required to find the spot! Even on this day when the sky was blue and the air warm, the mists kept a veil over most of the coast. That distant headland is Cape Sebastian.
The quest was for a secret sea cave, which William Sullivan wrote about in an article in the Eugene Register-Guard On June 29. We never found that, but the spot was spectacular and we really didn't mind, although the mist did adversely affect the clarity of the photography. Frankly, to me it was one of those places that is so spectacular you really can't capture it with a camera, anyway. But I tried. Somehow, probably because I was so captured by this one vista, I didn't get any photos of the three large sea stacks that lie at the end of the road, and where the sea cave is supposed to be.
There is no sign on the highway, other than a standard Oregon State Parks sign with no name. About 13 miles south of Port Orford, and about 14 miles north of Gold Beach, between mileposts 314 and 315, an old rocky side road turns to the west beside a bluff. Sullivan advises parking your car immediately, and I have to agree, but we were in a pickup with high ground clearance so we followed the rutted road a short distance to a locked metal gate. Trust me, there is absolutely nothing on the highway that indicates any reason to pull off the highway here. We had serious doubts we were in the right place, but it was the only possibility between those mileposts so we gave it a try. A short walk down the road leads to the above vistas plus more to the north all the way to Humbug Mountain and three giant sea stacks from which the park takes its name.
Earlier, we'd scouted a location for some sunset photography and arrived at Pistol River State Park just in time to watch the day come to a glorious close.