Sunset Bay Camoground
05.23.2013 - 05.25.2013
We pulled into Sunset Bay State Park campground in the drizzling rain Wednesday, 5/22. This park is right on the coast, on the Cape Arago road south of Charleston. We chose site A38, one with electric and water hookups, and the least number of water puddles on the campsite. We liked the looks of this campground, with its grassy campsites and easy access to hiking trails. The free (though rustic) showers have hot water and are clean.
After listening to light rain periodically through the night, we were heartened to find the weather cooperating, mostly, by 9 a.m.
The trails are located across the highway, and are well-maintained wide wood-chip paths. We wound through huge green leaves, deerferns and towering pines, to beautiful overlooks of the coast. Towering slabs of rocks parallel the beach, with water channels from a few feet to many yards in width separating these rock formations from the cliffs of the coast. One particularly flat-top rock slab formed hundreds of little waterfalls as the surf danced and billowed, then receded from its surface.
There is a lovely tranquil beach at Sunset Bay, right across the road from the campground. Weather today was not suitable for a dip, but I read this is one of the best places for swimming in the Pacific in Oregon. Plenty of picnic tables and grassy areas for upcoming sunny days.
Friday morning we left this lovely campground, and traveled about four miles south to complete this road to Cape Aragon. Two miles south of Sunset Bay are the beautiful gardens of Shore Acres State Park. What a wonderful stop this was! This is the former estate of Louis Simpson, and the state of Oregon has restored the botanical gardens to their full glory. The Japanese garden pool is surrounded by lush colors, varying with the season. This day, the rhododendrons were still in their prime, along with azaleas so heavy with bloom I could hardly discern the leaves among them. More flowers of yellow, orange and white...I did not need to know the names to breath in the fragrance and enjoy the sights. I highly recommend a stop at this park if you are traveling the Oregon coast.