• Gold Beach and its vicinity is a fantastic destination offering numerous outdoor opportunities
Gold Beach and its vicinity is a fantastic getaway destination for any outdoors enthusiast with any set of interests. The name of the town comes from the gold mining past. The gold was discovered in sands near the mouth of the Rouge River. The Gold Rush ended many years ago, but the name stuck to the present times.
Located on the Southern Oregon Coast, this small town and the surrounding area give numerous opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors including jet boat trips, hiking, fishing, windsurfing, and rockhounding. There are also plenty of other places to visit such as Prehistoric Gardens, museums, or restaurants.
Things To Do & See
Kissing Rock & Beaches
Kissing Rock is a big rock formation you can see if you enter Gold Beach from the south. There are a variety of versions of how the name was given to this Gold Beach landmark, but the most common version is that this spot is where local lovers met.
Explore the beach near Kissing Rock and discover treasures during the Beach Treasure Hunt. This annual festival is similar to the famous Finders Keepers Glass Floats Event in Lincoln City. The three-mile coastline stretching from the South Jetty of the Rogue River to south of Kissing Rock becomes a beachcomber attraction from the beginning of February to the end of April. The glass art floats are hidden above the high surf line in the beach grass and driftwoods. You can just take one. If it is tagged, you could win a prize. Check it at the Visitor Center.
Besides the artisan treasures, the Gold Beach is popular among rock and mineral collectors for opportunities to find agates, jaspers, petrified wood, and fossils.
Beautiful beaches are a crown jewel of Gold Beach and its vicinity. You can explore South Beach, Buena Vista State Park, Myers Creek Beach, Pistol River State Park, Bailey Beach, and Nesika Beach. Those are the biggest and the most notable beaches you might want to visit and see.
Otter Point State Recreation Area
Otter Point is a park featuring unique sandstone formations with the mighty Pacific Ocean in the background. The park is not indicated on Highway 101, but you can reach this picturesque area 5 miles north of Gold Beach by following Old Coast Road. Hiking trails run from the south parking area to Barley Beach and from the north parking area to Agate Beach and sandstones.
Shipwreck of the Mary D. Hume
Mary D. Hume is a steamboat with a pretty unique history. Built in 1881, this was the longest-serving vessel of the Pacific Coast. After 97 years of service, in 1977 the boat was retired and restored for purposes to be a museum. In 1985 Mary D. Hume accidentally sank in the Rogue River and since remained on the shoreline. The boat is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Check out the Curry Historical Museum to learn the south coast history through a realistic reconstruction of a miner's cabin, photos, a Native American display, and artifacts.
Jerry's Rogue River Museum & Gift Shop is located in the harbor area at the southern end of the Rogue River Bridge. The museum traces the local history centuries ago offering a vast collection of artifacts, photos of freight, travelers, and the fishing industry of the early 1900s.
Prehistoric Gardens is a prehistoric museum set in the coastal rainforest on Highway 101 featuring 23 life-sized dinosaurs models. This is a self-guided tour where you can see real size creatures of the past.
Rogue River Jet-Boat Ride
Rouge River Jet-Boat Ride is probably the best way to explore the river. Approximately, 50,000 people a year enjoy this exploration route and it is for a good reason. On your river cruise, you can enjoy breathtaking views, see wildlife, learn about the river and its surrounding flora and fauna. You will also learn the history of the area including the life of Native Americans and the history of gold mining. There are 3 types of exploring trips offered including 64-mile, 80-mile, and 104-mile. Tours typically run from May through October.
Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor
Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor is a 12-mile narrow stretch of rugged coastline with over 10 scenic coastal viewpoints, a few pocket-shaped beaches, and offshore sea stacks. You can enjoy this route by car or by hiking on the Oregon Coastal Trail.
Hikers can enjoy the famous 40-mile Rogue River Trail from Foster Bar to Grave Creek Boat Ramp along the river section designated as Wild and Scenic. This is a lodge-to-lodge or camp-to-camp trail, so you can hike lightly. Lodges are reasonably spaced apart so extended hikes are not necessary. You can also start and end your hike at various points along the way if you are not inclined to hike the complete stretch of the trail.
Frances Shrader Old Growth Trail is an easy 1.5-mile loop-trail through old-growth coniferous forest. The trailhead is located 10 miles up the Rogue River east of Gold Beach.
Myrtle Tree Trail is a 0.25-mile hike winding uphill with 200 feet elevation gain. This trail is home to the largest myrtlewood tree in the World. The tree is about 88 feet tall and 42 feet in circumference. The trailhead is 10 miles upriver east of Gold Beach.
With a variety of fish species including salmon, steelhead, cutthroat trout, and sturgeon in the river, as well as cod, lingcod, snapper, and perch offshore, you can fish in this area year-round. Check the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife for current rules and regulations.
Gold Beach and its vicinity have one of the highest numbers of professional fishing tour guides in the state of Oregon because of the numerous options fishermen have here.
Beaches, as well as river banks, allow you to go for a treasure hunt to add to your collection a variety of interesting rocks and minerals. You can find beautiful material here including agates, jaspers, petrified wood, fossils, and serpentine.
Windsurfers can practice their skills and enjoy their hobby in the ocean around the Pistol River area. Be advised that this area might be a little hard for beginners and is more suited for more experienced windsurfers.