Mile by Mile Map from the Pistol River Viewpoint Wayside to Winchuck Beach at the California Border.

344.0 Samuel H. Boardman State Park is a long narrow State Park consisting of a series of waysides that provide access to areas of natural interest offering visitors one panoramic view after another ending at mile post 352.6. The Oregon Coast Trail traverses the park, but the steep cliffs that dominate the park severally limit access to the beach. The view of the seascapes from the senic wonders associated with the Samuel Boardman State Park offers visitors to the waysides unlimited photographic opportunity to capture absolutely stunning views of the Oregon Coast. A trail leads to the beach below.

344.8 Arch Rock Point is the viewpoint of the immense boomerang shaped monolithic rock located ¾ of a mile offshore. A visit to Arch Rock Point is only the prelude to visiting the Natural Bridges Cove as you stroll from the paved parking lot down a short paved path to an overlook featuring a series of offshore sea stacks and islands. In spring, wildflowers brighten the meadows.

Arch Rock was a significant landmark for the Tolowa tribe living in this section of the coast. According to legend, Coyote—a frequent character who teaches ingenuity and explains the inexplicable—was left to starve on Arch Rock after playing a prank on the other animals and people. Undeterred, he cleverly made his way back to land by gathering a basket of mussels and throwing them into the water. Each mussel magically grew into a small island, allowing Coyote to use them as stepping stones to shore. Courtesy of the Curry Historical Society.

A visit to the Curry Historical Society in Gold Beach is the right place to learn the fascinating history of Oregon's spectacular south coast, as history comes alive through historic places, museums and amazing structures such as the Cape Blanco Lighthouse.

346.1 The Natural Bridges Cove trail leads to an overlook with a view of the natural bridge rock formations. The view is one of the most dramatic seascapes along the Oregon Coast.

347.5 The Thomas Creek Bridge is the highest bridge in Oregon standing 345 feet.

348.2 Indian Sands Trail terminates on a high sandstone bluff overlooking the sea. Once again the view of the coast is truly spectacular. Specular view. Most of the views on the internet were copyright, We recommend taking plenty of photos at trails end.

349.4 The Whaleshead Beach is a beautiful location for a family picnic and has ample parking, restrooms and picnic tables.

351.2 House Rock was the site of a World War Two sentry tower. There is a steep trail to the beach below. The trailhead begins behind the Samuel H. Boardman Memorial.

351.8 Cape Ferrelo is named for Bartolome Ferrelo, a Spaniard who sailed into Oregon waters in 1543. Envision the grandeur of the Oregon Coast before as Ferrelo saw it. The vistas from Samuel H. Boardman State Park provide visitors with a glimpse of the Oregon Coast, as it was when Bartolome Ferrelo first saw it in 1543.

352.6 The Lone Ranch Beach is an ideal spot for a family gathering. The wayside has ample parking, restrooms, picnic tables and easy access trails to the beach and tide pools.

355.7 Harris Beach State Park is a full service park located two miles north of Brookings. The sandy beach is home to craggy rocks. The unusual geological formations are called seastacks which are a result of the collapse of the shore during an earthquake caused by subduction movement of plate tectonics that occurred 300 hundred years ago. The fishing is excellent for redtail surfperch and striped seaperch. Refer to the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulation restricting the taking of shellfish within the Harris Beach Marine Garden.

357.0 Macklyn Cove and Chetco Cove in Brookings is renowned for excellent fishing for striped seaperch and shallow water rockfish.. Access Mill Beach and the tide pools by turning west onto Center St. park at the end of the street follow the trail down to the beach. Refer to The Chetco River Estuaries is comparatively small and it does not take much rainfall to raise the river levels enough to force crabs to move out into the open ocean.

Chinook Salmon The emphasis in the Chetco River Estuary is on Chinook salmon fishing. Fishing for Chinook salmon outside of the Chetco River Estuary is outstanding during the ocean salmon season. On calm days troll for salmon outside the jetty jaws to the whistle buoy located one mile from the harbor entrance. The 1997 saw 5100 Chinook salmon landed before the ocean salmon season closed in early September.

Information Report 87-1. McGie, A.M. 1987. Contribution and distribution of catch of 1969- and 1970-brood fall Chinook salmon from Chetco River, Oregon.

Some Chinook salmon return to the Chetco River Estuary in July and August but the majority of Chinook salmon migration into the Chetco River Estuary begins in September through October usually peaking in last week of October into November. Early September Chinook salmon returning to the Chetco River are usually comprised of mostly hatchery fish followed in October by wild spawned fish. The Chinook salmon returning to Southern Oregon rivers later than their North Coast cousins to take advantage of the high river flows that breached the lagoons allowing escapement of salmon smolts into the ocean and returning salmon access to rivers of their birth.

A large number of fish that are caught each year are five old fish that weigh between 30 and 40 pounds. The tidal reach of the Chetco River Estuary is only two and a half miles long. The Chinook move into and out of the bay with the tide. The best fishing for newly arriving fall Chinook salmon occurs in the lower bay during the incoming tide of the major tidal exchange of spring tides or neap tides especially when the incoming tide coincides with sunrise or sunset. The next most productive fishing period occurs at sunrise or sunset during the incoming tide of the minor tidal exchange in the daily tidal cycle. Daybreak is that magical time of day when Chinook salmon bite the best. Be sure to have the bait in the water one half hour before sunrise. Fishing is most productive from ½ hour before sunrise to midmorning and from late afternoon until ½ hour after sunset.

Early in the run trolling a plug cut herring with the incoming tide through high slack tide or with the outgoing tide from the head of tidewater seaward along the south jetty is the most productive method to catch early returning fall Chinook salmon. As the number of returning Chinook salmon increase, trolling spinners in the upper bay from the Hwy 101 Bridge to the head of tidewater are an effective alternative. The most effective spinner is colored 50/50 chartreuse and brass blade, a hammered gold back and the front painted with 50/50 green and chartreuse spinner blade or a rainbow colored blade with a green tip. Returning Chinook salmon hold in the Morris Hole and at Tide Rock at the head of tidewater before continuing upstream. Fish for them using the Rogue Bait Rig and anchovy combination or Spin–N–Glos sweetened with salmon eggs. Bobber fishing at the Morris Hole with sand shrimp and/or salmon eggs in is an effective option that is a favorite of local anglers.

A few Coho salmon enter the Chetco River Estuary in September and some are caught by anglers fishing for Chinook Salmon but overall the Chetco River Estuary does not support a run of Coho Salmon.

Pileperch, striped seaperch, redtail surfperch, and walleye surfperch enter the bay in late spring. At best the fishing is fair to good from late spring through fall depending on the amount fresh water entering the bay. Fish for redtail surfperch along the south jetty and for the other perch species in the jetty channel and among the structure associated with the marina.

White sturgeon occasionally enter the Chetco River Estuary and the sturgeon that are caught are caught by anglers fishing for salmon.

Sand Sole enter the bay in small numbers in May.

Chetco River Estuary Crabbing varies but improves from summer early fall in the harbor at Brookings from the Highway 101 Bridge seaward or from the public crabbing dock until the arrival of fall rains. Crabbing in the ocean off of the Rogue and Chetco Rivers is productive in areas 60 to 80 feet.

Clam Digging: The bay clams common to Oregon's Bay are not present in Brookings Harbor in large enough numbers to be of interest to recreational clam diggers.

Internet Links of Interest for the Chetco River Estuary:

Click on the following links to view the hazards boaters encounter crossing the bar at the Chetco River Estuary.

NOAA's Bar Observation Website for Oregon's Bays. Check the NOAA Bar Observations website for updated closures and restrictions.

Tidal Projections: NOAA tidal projections for Oregon. Scroll down to the Chetco River Estuary and click on your area of interest.

Click the following link to view the local weather forecast for Brookings.

Click the following link to view the Marine Forecast available from NWS Medford, OR Zone Forecast: Coastal waters from Cape Blanco OR to Pt. St. George CA out 10 nm.

Click on the Chetco River to view the height of the river near Brookings.

Natural Resources of the Chetco River.

358.0 Harbor Beach and the south jetty of the Chetco River Estuary offer the angler a full service RV park at the Beach Front RV Park, boat launching, restrooms and picnic tables.

Access ramps from the parking area to the beach make Harbor Beach the most user accessible beach on the Oregon Coast. The fishing for perch from the beach or the jetty is good.

361.7 McVey Beach is located just north of the Winchuck River. Turn west from Highway 101, at Don and Bob’s Auto Repair, onto Ocean view Drive. Turn left at the beach access road with the white cable post. The fishing for redtail surfperch is excellent.

362.2 Winchuck Beach is located just north of Oregon California border. The redtail surfperch fishing is excellent along the beach on either side of the Winchuck River. Chinook salmon return to the Winchuck River from late October through November. The run is comprised with a high percentage of five year old fish. The catch rate over the last decade has averaged 90 Chinook per year. The estuary at the Winchuck River is approximately ¼ mile in length. Access to the estuary is through the Winchuck River State Park Wayside (Crissey Field State Recreation Site), but access to the rest of the river is limited by private property.

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