exploring Port Orford

I’ve driven through this town any number of times and hadn’t discovered the gem it hides in plain sight.Port_Orford-8492

Port Orford Heads State Park offers some nice (easy) hiking trails that explore the point which provides views to the north and south.


Looking to the north at Cape Blanco jutting out to sea. It claims to be the westernmost point along the Oregon coast. You can see how Blanco (white in Spanish) got it’s name.


It takes the zoom lens to be able to see the Lighthouse at Cape Blanco.

Flowers, ferns and a ripe Salmonberry along the way.


Kelp beds

Port_Orford-8503They’re not easy to spot, but there’s at least one seal lazing on the rocks. They blend in so well that there could be at least one other.


Lovely little coves.


Then, looking south along the coast. You’re also looking at the Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve. To quote from their website:

Potential benefits include:

  • Enhanced scientific understanding through research and monitoring
  • Greater abundance of marine organisms
  • Protecting old growth age structure of rockfish
  • Larger average size of marine organisms
  • More variety of animals (biodiversity)
  • Enhanced larval production for local fisheries
  • Spillover of fish and other organisms
  • Enhanced stability for local fisheries
  • Economic development through science and tourism
  • Increased educational opportunities for students, residents and visitor


Last, but not least, a look at Humbug mountain looking south. All the other shots I’ve taken of this wonderfully named mountain have been from the other side. I’m hoping to catch it from this angle some day when there are some clouds clinging to it.

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity. 
John Muir, Our National Parks



22 thoughts on “exploring Port Orford

  1. Pingback: exploring Port Orford — Movin’ on | Librarian Musings

  2. There are some good opportunities to be had from Port Orford Head SP, particularly at sunset. Not infrequently, even when Bandon’s socked in by the marine layer, things are much, much clearer at POH. It’s all part of my (sometimes actionable) South of Blanco (SOB) theory of marine layer impact. I think it’s viable about 75% of the time.


    • We are certainly intending to return to POH when the skies look more promising. Oddly enough, I can’t count the number of times I’ve driven through PO and never realized the gem that was hidden in plain sight out at the headland. Luckily for me, I don’t feel compelled to pay much attention to the marine layer these days. For me, there’s always another day (perhaps), but I do feel bad for those like you who try to pack in so much in a short amount of time. It just doesn’t seem fair!


      • There’s a really interesting offshore rock–it’s a kind of triangle-shaped feature–that’s visible from POH’s overlook area. It makes for a nice, minimalist composition when the light is good.

        As for the marine layer…I made out (mostly) okay last year. If I recall correctly, it was only a significant annoyance on two of the days I was there. Not too bad.


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