Photographer's Note

"A Precipitous Descent on the Oregon Coast Trail"

There are a couple of good choices for the starting point on the trek north to Whale's Head Beach near Brookings in Oregon's Boardman State Park. Both are along the Coast Trail, a mixture of ocean-view vistas and dense forest.

You can start north at Cape Ferrelo Viewpoint for a 3.9 mile one-way walk or House Rock Viewpoint (2.5 miles). Both feature ample parking spots and easy access off U.S. Highway 101, and the Coast Trail is well marked.

From Cape Ferrelo, it's a mile and a half through woods and vistas up to House Rock, the view of which is so good you might be tempted to stop right there. Continuing north is like entering a tunnel forged of foliage. The Sitka Spruce-shaded forest floor seems to spread out for miles on either side. However, that's impossible; sense the ocean isn't far off to the left. The cushy trail climbs and descends through stunning visual delights of spruces, ferns and moss.

This goes on for more than a mile before you emerge from nature's darkroom and catch glimpses of Whale's Head Beach far below. Two short spur trails to the left dead-end at ocean viewpoints. Then comes a sign reading "Beach" and "Trail", accompanied by two arrows. If you're game, follow the beach route for a precipitous descent that will garner your wholehearted, survival-conscious attention, step by step, switchback by switchback. Otherwise, stay on the main Coast Trail until you reach an easier access route known as Whale's Head Trail.

The steeper descent lands you on Whale's Head Beach at its southern edge, with almost a mile of sand still to walk on toward the big rock that is home to a seabird breeding colony.

Whale’s Head Beach is one of the most gorgeous locations along the Oregon Coast. Offshore there is a sea stack that looks like the head of a Whale. The sea stack is cut with a rock channel and when a wave hits it, it spurts a spray that actually looks like a whale spouting, hence the name Whale’s Head Beach.

Along the shaded trail you will pass a lot of mushrooms and a low rock face that is covered with moss at least five hundred years old. Be careful of a few patches of poison oak growing close to the trail. When you get to the first sunny patch, stop and breathe deeply and look at the wild roses. A second rest gives you a view of the ocean. Looking south back toward Whale’s Head Trail Viewpoint, you can see the beach parking area and an absolutely stunning curve of beach. Continue along the trails to a knoll with an amazing ocean view thick with wild strawberry and huckleberry bushes. If you thought the world lacked wonders, think again.

Whether you are a hiker, a camera buff, a kid at heart, a nature lover or an artist you can't go wrong at Whale’s Head Beach.


Again, I'd like to thank everyone for keeping my family in their thoughts and prayers. My wife seems to be doing a little better, but I still have daily bouts with horrible memories and find myself crying and not even know it, till the person I'm talking to asks me what is wrong. Anyway, I send my love and thoughts to every one of you!!

Your Friend from California......Buddy & Jenny Denmark

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Additional Photos by Buddy Denmark (PecoBud) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 408 W: 0 N: 912] (3824)
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