Located at the end of Cape Arago Highway, about 14 miles southwest of Coos Bay, and 5 miles from Charleston, the park is a part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge. Bordered on the south by Shore Acres State Park, Cape Arago was previously a part of Louis J. and Lela Simpson estate. They donated it to the State of Oregon in 1932.
In 1778 the headland was named Cape Gregory in Saint Gregory honor and renamed Cape Arago after French physicist and politician Francois Arago in 1850. There is a theory that in 1579 English explorer Sir Francis Drake sheltered his ship in the south cove of Cape Arago. During the World War II, this spot was used by the Coast Guard and U.S. Army as a lookout site and a radio station.
The park offers an opportunity for fishing, hiking, watching seabirds, offshore colonies of seals and sea lions at Simpson Reef and Shell Island. A four-mile trail along the coast leads to Sunset Bay State Park via Shore Acres State Park. It is a part of Oregon Coast Trail. Another two and a half miles Pack Trail goes back to Shore Acres. Also, there are half miles trails (north and south coves) to refuge and tide pools.
The south cove trail leads to a sandy beach and excellent tide pools (Please do not touch or remove tide pools plants and animals!).
The north cove trail runs down to a beach with tide pools, spots for fishing, and views of the off-shore colonies of seals and sea lions at Shell Island. The north cove is closed from March 1st to June 30th to protect seal pups.
Cape Arago | General Description
Open: Year-round dawn to dask
Managed: Oregon State Park
Location: Cape Arago State Park
Services: Picnic tables, restrooms, gazebo shelter
Activities: Hiking, scenic viewpoints
Accommodations: Sunset Bay Campground
Distance from the parking: Short
Road access: Any passenger vehicle
Day-use fees: Free
Dogs: Must be on a leash
Cape Arago South is located:
- 14 miles southwest of Coos Bay
- 94 miles west of Roseburg
- 128 miles southwest of Eugene.
Directions to Cape Arago South
From Highway-101 in North Bend,
- Turn west onto Virginia Avenue and follow 0.6 miles to Broadway Avenue
- Turn left onto Broadway Avenue and go 0.9 miles to Newmark Avenue
- Bear right onto Newmark Avenue and drive 1.8 miles to Cape Arago Highway
- Turn left onto Cape Arago Highway and continue for 10.3 miles to Cape Arago Highway Loop and bear right.