Pistol River State Scenic Viewpoint is tucked between the Pacific Ocean and Pistol River, 9 miles south of Gold Beach. The beautiful river follows its winding path through grassy sand dunes, stunning rock formations, and finally enters the ocean.
This place was the site of a decisive battle in 1856 during the Rogue River Indian War. As suggested, the river received its name after a pistol that was lost by one of the soldiers during the fierce battle.
Today, Pistol River Beach is popular for a variety of recreation opportunities including windsurfing, beachcombing, wildlife watching, and rockhounding.
This area is one of the best locations in Southern Oregon for ocean windsurfing (The other place is Floras Lake). The wind blows almost every day from May to September that makes this stretch of the coast one of the windiest spots in Oregon. The combination of wind and wave powers make the Pistol River area the world’s premier surf spot. The national windsurfing tournament Pistol River Wave Bash has run in June annually at Myers Creek Beach that is a part of the Pistol River State Scenic Viewpoint.
Beach hiking starts from the mouth of the Pistol River (Pistole River Middle Parking Area). The 4-mile trail runs north along the rocky shoreline to Cape Sebastian at Hunter’s Cove. The one-mile trail heads to the ocean and Crook Point on the south.
Pistol River gravels near the bridge, just off Highway 101 is a good spot to find excellent materials including quartz, agate, jasper, and petrified wood.
Pistol River State Scenic Viewpoint | General Description
Open: Year-round from sunrise to sunset
Managed: Oregon State Park
Activities: Windsurfing, hiking, rockhounding, scenic viewpoints
Accommodations: Lodging in Gold Beach or Brookings
Distance from the parking: Short
Road access: Any passenger vehicle
Day-use fees: Free
Popularity: Low to moderate
Pistol River State Park is located:
- 11 miles south of Gold Beach
- 144 miles west of Medford
- 198 miles southwest of Eugene.