Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"cape blanco"

This is one of my favorite hikes on the Oregon Pacific coast. It features rugged coastline, tidal events (CAREFUL! HAVE A TIDE TABLE), and historic lighthouse views. Drive to the Cape Blanco State Park exit off of Hwy. 101, 4 miles north of Port Orford, Or. Then follow directions to the Hughes House. Trail parking is north and downhill from the historic house, at the Sixes River (boat ramp). Take the path west across the meadow toward the ocean. (Don't use the riverside trail for this 7 mile loop trail.) Continue heading to the shore and you will be there in about 3/4 mile. Do not take the left turn about half way to the beach at .3 mi. A mile walk south along the wild beach brings you to a sharp uphill climb. If the uphill post marker is missed, no problem. The beach ends at the cape and you will back-track a few yards and see it. Back at the top, cross the lighthouse access paved road (100 yds to the left down the road) and head across a meadow SE along the "South Beach" trail. You should cross another paved road in about a mile from the lighthouse road. This is now the only confusing part. Cross this pavement, climb a path to an "X" junction in the meadow. Turn right at the junction and all others for a mile to the south beach.Turn right upon reaching the beach for 1/2 mile, hike up the paved road for a mile (through the campground to the lighthouse road again), and cross the road to a mowed path. Keep left at junctions now to your vehicle in 1 1/2 miles. Additional experiences: The Cape Blanco Lighthouse can be visited April to October for a couple dollars fee. The Hughes House, built in 1898, is accepting donations for tours during the same season.

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