A popular camping and day-use state park, Sunset Bay is one of the most picturesque destinations among a few beaches and parks along the Cape Arago Highway, 12 miles southwest of Coos Bay and 3 miles of Charleston. The relatively shallow cove is protected by sea cliffs and sandstone bluffs at the bay mouth. There is less wind and water is warmer and more tranquil than any other places along the Oregon Coast.
According to a local legend, pirates used this well-protected bay as a hiding spot and haunt. Another interesting feature is the ghost forest that was created by a earthquake 1200 years ago.
The bay is a safe harbor for fishing boats during storms. Surrounded by sandstone cliffs and reefs, this protected cove with a large 0.2-mile sandy beach is an excellent place for picnicking, beach combing, boating, surfing, kayaking, diving, swimming, and fishing. In the peak of the summer season the water while still being cold, warms up enough to swim in, which is rare for the Pacific Northwest.
The campground with RV and tent camping is a just short walk from the beach. Sunset Bay Golf Course is located near the park.
The beautiful eight-mile hiking trail along Cape Arago Highway is a part of Oregon Coastal Trail. The route connects Sunset Bay State Park to Shore Acres and Cape Arago State Parks. Along the trail, you will enjoy the pristine coastal forest, cliffs, stunning ocean panoramas, Cape Arago Lighthouse, Gregory Point, the beautiful Shore Acres State, and sea lions at Simpson Reef and Shell Island. The 2.5-mile trail leads to Bastendorff Beach County Park.
Pets are allowed on the trail but should be kept on a leash no longer than six feet, pets waste must be removed. Pets are not allowed to enter to Shore Acres State Park, however they could stay on the trail.
Sunset Bay | General Description
Managed: Oregon State Park
Location: Sunset Bay State Park
Services: Paved parking, boat launch area, reservable meeting hall, picnic tables, firewood on sale, fish cleaning station, flush toilets, and showers
Activities: Swimming, watersports, hiking, biking, fishing, boating, scenic viewpoints
Accommodations: Campground with 27 full-hookup sites, 34 electrical sites with water, 66 tent sites with water nearby, and 8 yurts
Distance from the parking: Short
Road access: Any passenger vehicle
Day-use fees: Free
Dogs: Must be on a leash
Popularity: Moderate to high
Elevation: 19 ft (6 m)
Sunset Bay is located:
- 11 miles southwest of Coos Bay
- 83 miles west of Roseburg
- 125 miles southwest of Eugene.
Directions to Sunset Bay State Park
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 7.7 miles to Sunset Bay State Park.
Address: 13030 Cape Arago Hwy, Coos Bay, OR 97420
Phone: 541-888-4902, 800-452-5687 (for reservation)