Cape Arago State Park

Drive southwest from Coos Bay until you reach this tranquil park on the Pacific Ocean. Embark on a hike or watch the seals and sea lions from the beach. 

Technically, Cape Arago State Park is at the end of the road out of Coos Bay. However, this beautiful area really makes a great starting point to explore Oregon’s southern coastline.

Cape Arago is a wildly beautiful headland that juts out into the Pacific Ocean. You’ll find no houses, restaurants or other signs of civilization here. Instead the park contains miles of sandy shoreline, along with hiking trails and picnic areas.

Sir Francis Drake supposedly sought shelter for his ship near Cape Arago in 1579 while he carried out the second circumnavigation of the world. Although it was originally called Cape Gregory, the area was later renamed Cape Arago in honor of the famed French physicist, François Arago.

Take the south cove trail down to a sandy beach. Examine the microcosm of sea life that exists in each small tidal pool. Fly a kite along the soft sand and enjoy the beautiful vistas.

The north cove trail leads you to a secluded inlet. Take advantage of the fantastic fishing conditions or scour the beach for shells. From here, you also have a great view of Shell Island. Located just offshore, this small island is home to hundreds of sea lions and seals. The trail is closed from March through June to give young seal pups privacy.

The park has no dining establishments, so pack a picnic to enjoy next to the water. The picnic area has running water and restrooms for your convenience.

Cape Arago State Park is located at the end of Cape Arago Highway, just 15 miles (24 kilometers) outside of Coos Bay. The town of Coos Bay is a great place to have a meal or to stay overnight. The park is open throughout the year, but overnight camping is not permitted. There is no entrance fee.