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. Ore St. Park Photo.

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 at the Natural Bridges Cove 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 from Indian Sands Trail 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. The Whaleshead Beach has picnic tables, 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 Cape Ferrelo in 1543.

352.6 The Lone Ranch Beach is an ideal spot for a family gathering. The Lone Ranch Beach 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 at Harris Beach State Park 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. Ore State Park Photo

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.

356.0 Bud Cross Recreational Complex is located on Ransom 3 blocks east of Hwy 101. The recreational complex contains a baseball diamond, skate park and tennis courts, great resources for a culturally inspired community.

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 Estuary 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.

357.9 Chetco River Estuary

The Omnibus Oregon Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1988 designated 44.5 miles of the Chetco River as Wild & Scenic, from its headwaters in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness down to the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest boundary just above Alfred A. Loeb State Park. The designated segment of the Chetco is located within Curry County in southwest Oregon on the Gold Beach Ranger District. The Wild & Scenic Chetco River is divided into three segments: 

  • The 27.5-mile Wild segment from the headwaters down to Mislatnah Creek;
  • The 8.0-mile Scenic segment from Mislatnah Creek down to Eagle Creek; and
  • The 11.0-mile Recreational segment from Eagle Creek down to the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest boundary. This segment includes the following recreational resources.

Campground Camping Plus Other Attractions*

Click on the Chetco River Estuary Link above to continue reading about the resources associated with the Chetco River Estuary.

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.

Steelhead returning to the Chetco River: The Chetco is slow to muddy and clears quickly after a rain event. It is the only non-Rogue River stream on the south coast with a hatchery program. ODFW has maintained a wild broodstock collection program on the Chetco River for more than 25 years, releasing up to 50,000 steelhead smolts annually. Releases occur at Social Security Bar, approximately 3 miles upriver from Hwy 101. In 2011 and 2012, the ODFW Restoration and Enhancement Program funded a two year steelhead creel on the Chetco River with an average catch of 3,800 steelhead for those years. It is a great fishery, but can be crowed at times.

The majority of the returning hatchery steelhead stay within the lower 8 miles of the river, providing a very good fishery from early December to March. The heaviest concentrations are around the mouth of the North Fork Chetco River up to Loeb State Park.

The Chetco River also has a tremendous wild steelhead population. Both runs return at the same time, and most fish are spawned out by mid-March. The wild fish generally move through the lower river during rain events, providing excellent fishing. The majority of wild fish spawn in the upperriver and tributaries. Flows are a key factor in determining when to fish and what method to use. Anglers can keep an eye on the Chetco River flows online. Bank anglers usually start plunking Spin-N-Glos around 9,000 cfs and drift boat anglers do best at 4,000 cfs and dropping.

Anglers are reminded that to maintain a wild steelhead broodstock program, ODFW staff are regularly netting wild steelhead on the Chetco River. At times, these broodstock collection efforts may interfere with an anglers fishing. In addition to broodstock collection, ODFW will be conducting a steelhead angler creel from December to March. Please be courteous to all ODFW personnel and volunteers.

Cutthroat Trout.

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. The Crabbing Dock is located on the jetty channel next to the Coast Guard Station just north of the R/V Park. 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.

Chetco River Estuary boat launches: a single lane boat ramp is located on the south shore of the Brooking Harbor and 4 lane boat ramp is located on north shore of Brookings harbor at the Port of Brookings. After crossing the Chetco River Estuary exit Hwy 101 onto Lower Harbor Rd. Turn into the driveway of the multi lane boat ramp where the road curves toward the ocean. To access the single lane boat ramp at the shore of the harbor continue down Lower Harbor Rd. to the entrance of the boat ramp and R/V Park. For additional click Harbor Beach delow or contact: Phone 541-469-5867 or email at

The Social Security Bar Boat Launch is operated by the Port of Brookings, and is located 3.3 miles upriver on the N. Bank Chetco River Rd from the intersections with Hwy 101. The Alfred A. Lobe Boat Launch is located 7.6 miles up the N. Bank Chetco River Rd. from the intersection with Hwy 101 in Brookings. Access to the boat launch is through the Alfred A. Lobe State Park to the gravel bar adjacent to the Chetco River. The National Forest boundry is located 7.9 miles from Hwy 101.

Redwood Nature Trailhead. The location of the Natural Redwood Trailhead to the grove of redwoods is approximately 8.2 miles is difficult to determine without accually being there.

Miller Bar Campground is located on large river bar on the beautiful Wild and Scenic Chetco River. Enjoy summer fun in the crystal clear waters of this outstanding river! A few shaded spots can be found along the treeline. Tents or small trailers only. Camping on the gravel bar during the winter months is discouraged due to the frequency of high water events. From Brookings, Oregon, turn off US Highway 101 onto the North Bank, Chetco River Road (County Road 784). This becomes Forest Road 1376. Miller Bar is approximately 2 miles from the Forest boundary on Forest Road 1376.

Nook Bar Campground. Nook Bar provides dispersed campsites for tents or small trailers on a large river bar by the beautiful Wild and Scenic Chetco River. Enjoy summer fun in the crystal clear waters of this outstanding river! A few shaded spots can be found along the tree line. Camping on the gravel bar during the winter months is discouraged due to the frequency of high water events. From Brookings, turn off US Highway 101 onto the North Bank Chetco River Road (County Road 784). This becomes Forest Service Road 1376. Nook Bar is approximately 3 miles from the Forest boundary on Forest Service Road 1376. Directions to Redwood Bar Dispersed Camping. From Brookings, Oregon, turn off US Highway 101 onto the North Bank Chetco River Road (County Road 784). This becomes Forest Road 1376.

Redwood Bar Campground is approximately 6 miles from the Forest boundary on Forest Road 1376, just past the Little Redwood Campground.

South Fork Camping and Day Use Area. This is a dispersed campsite for tents and small trailers is located at the confluence of South Fork Chetco with the main stem of the Wild and Scenic Chetco River.  Enjoy summer fun in the crystal clear waters of this outstanding river.

Upper South Fork Camp provides a more secluded location along the South Fork Chetco River.

Lower South Fork Camp provides a larger area with access to both the South Fork and main stem Chetco River. From Brookings, Oregon, turn off US Highway 101 onto the North Bank Chetco River Road (County Road 784). This becomes Forest Road 1376. South Fork Camps are approximately 8 miles from the Forest boundary on Forest Road 1376.

Chimney Camp Trail #1279

Packer's Cabin was originally built around 1930 and served as the headquarters for the Forest Service packer who supplied lookouts and field crews by horse or mule pack trains. Today, however, visitors no longer need to hitch up a team of mules and trek for days to enjoy this three-room cabin nestled in a natural setting on Long Ridge.

Directions: From Brookings, Oregon, take U.S. Highway 101 and turn onto County Road 784 (North Bank Chetco River Road). This becomes Forest Road 1376. Follow this Forest Road 1376 to the junction with Forest Road 1917. Follow Forest Road 1917 for 5 miles to Forest Road 1917-110, the entrance to Packer’s Cabin. Travel time from Brookings is about an hour and a half, and easily accessible by highway and Forest Roads.

357.8 Azalea State Park Garden: assess to the garden from Hwy 101 is gained by turning east onto the N. Bank Chetco River Rd. The garden will be to your left. The garden provides a view into the beauty associated with azaleas. We recommend visiting the garden for the beauty azaleas inspire.

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. Once you have crossed over the Chetco River Estuary exit Hwy 101 onto Lower Harbor Rd. Follow the road to the Harbor Beach R/V Park.

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 River For its size, the Winchuck watershed is an outstanding producer of four highly-valued anadromous salmonid fish.

Five major tributaries--Wheeler Creek, East Fork, Fourth of July Creek, Bear Creek and South Fork--make up the Winchuck River system.

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. Cutthroat Trout. 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.

Steelhead returning to the Winchuck River: The Winchuck has an excellent run of winter steelhead. It’s also slow to muddy and clears quickly after rains. The upper river flows primarily through Forest Service land with good access for bank anglers. Anglers can float the river, but only experienced oarsman should attempt to. Fishing from a boat is prohibited. Source ODFW.

Directions to the Winchuck River. From Medford, take I-5 North to exit 55 US-199/Redwood Hwy. Merge onto US-101/ Redwood Hwy towards Crescent City. Near Jedediah-Smith Park, take the Hwy 197 North junction towards Brookings and proceed north on US-101, which crosses the Winchuck River just north of the Oregon border. From Hwy 101 turn east onto County Road 896, which turns into Forest Service road 1107 after about 5 miles.

Chimney Camp South Trailhead

Directions: From Brookings, Oregon, take Highway 101 south to County Road 896 (Winchuck Road) which will become Forest Road 1107. Before reaching the Winchuck Campground turn left on to Forest Road 1108, cross the bridge over Wheeler Creek (passing Ludlum House Group Site Rental on the right) and turn left to the trailhead access road.

Ludlum Campground is located adjacent to Wheeler Creek and the Winchuck River, just minutes from ocean beaches, and 30 minutes from the redwoods of northern California. There are opportunities to hike; one option is the Chimney Camp Trail #1279, which is a pleasant hike along Wheeler Creek. Ludlum House Recreation Rental is also adjacent to the campground.

Ludlum House Group Site Recreation Rental. The house is minimally furnished with a table and chairs, a sink and food preparation counter, and a wood stove. Bring your own firewood, propane and battery-powered lanterns. While there is sleeping space for up to 30 visitors, this is a rustic camping experience--there are no beds.

Winchuck Day Use Area. Directions: From Brookings, Oregon, from US Highway 101 via County Road 896 to Forest Road 1107. One mile north of the California/Oregon border, 13 miles south of Brookings. 15 sites with picnic tables and fire pits.

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