Just south of the Oregon city of Gold Beach, Cape Sebastian State Park is home to some breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and also relatively nearby Humbug Mountain. With ample RV camping and nearby lodges and inns to sleep in, the Cape is a perfect place to visit and explore for any vacation, no matter how extended the amount of time. A variety of bird, animal, and marine wildlife watching abound throughout the park, so nature lovers will be right at home at Cape Sebastian. The temperature in the area stays fairly constant all year round, with a high of 54 degrees in January and 68 degrees and July. As with almost anywhere in the Pacific Northwest, the park does get some heavy rainfall (sometimes over 20 inches of precipitation a year), so warm, waterproof clothing is always a sound decision.
Of course, the biggest draw for tourists at the park is the awe inspiring views it offers from both of its parking vistas. Each one is situated a dizzying 200 feet above the sea, so on a clear day a visitor can see for dozens of miles out into the ocean, or even peek into a place a full state away as Crescent City, California is clearly visible despite it being almost 50 miles to the south. Humbug Mountain, which is 43 miles to the north, is often plainly visible from the park and also offers some fantastic hiking and camping into one of the warmest areas of all of Oregon. Scuba diving and windsurfing are also big activities at and around the mountain, which is located right next to the coast. From many points on Cape Sebastian State Park, the visitor feels close enough to touch far away locations like Humbug Mountain. A person could spend a lifetime pouring over the views offered at this beautiful section of the Oregon coastline, and indeed many gorgeous and once in a lifetime photographs, videos, and paintings have been captured within Cape Sebastian State Park.
This park is one of the oft overlooked jewels of the Oregon park system; there are very few reviews or descriptions immediately available online. However, a good place to start to find more in-depth information would be the Oregon Parks and Recreation’s Department’s website, here: http://www.oregon.gov/OPRD/PARKS/about_us.shtml. There you can find contact information for park rangers and officials, as well as lists of special events and general goings-on both at Cape Sebastian and at any other Oregon state park.
For the adventurous, there are several walking trails throughout the park, cut through rich Sitka Spruce, which grow anywhere from 100 to 300 feet tall. These gigantic evergreens are a sight to behold, and well worth a trip to the park in and of themselves. Towering above the skyline, many of these behemoths have been recorded at well over 700 years old. The temperate nature of this section of coastline provides hikers and even casual drivers cutting through the park with a rain forest-like atmosphere with lush, green views.
Although the water is often too cold to swim in for everyone besides the truly adventurous (many locals have another term for them: “crazy”), there is ample beach access available on the Cape, and tourists often go down there to simply take in the refreshing salt breeze or to catch a glimpse of some local wildlife.
Many avid whale watchers take a trip to Cape Sebastian in the hopes of catching a glimpse of a pod of gray whales during their yearly migration south to the Gulf of California and the Baja Peninsula. These whales grow up to 52 feet long, so swimming in a large group they are truly a sight to see. Coupled with the Cape’s already striking views of the earth, sky, and sea, these migratory mammals add yet another surreal and magical layer to the mystique of the park.
For anyone looking to just get away, be it for a day or a week, Oregon’s scenic, mysterious Cape Sebastian State Park is the perfect location. There is always plenty to do and see here, and this area of Oregon’s coastline is home to some of the most majestic places and greatest views on Earth.