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Oregon Coast Region
Pistol River State Park
Pistol River State Park © Luca Renoldi
Pistol River State Park © Luca Renoldi
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Pistol River State Park is a stunning natural haven that offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. The park features sandy beaches and rolling dunes shaped by wind over time into an ever-changing landscape. It's named after the Pistol River which flows through it to meet with the ocean nearby. This area provides ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, picnicking or simply enjoying nature's beauty while watching wildlife like deer and various bird species including bald eagles. Its scenic beachfront makes it popular among windsurfers too due to its strong coastal breezes.

History of the Area
Located in the southern part of Oregon, along its scenic coastline, this natural reserve has a rich history. The area was named after an incident that occurred during the mid-19th century when a member of an exploration party lost his pistol in the river; henceforth it became known as Pistol River.

The region is steeped with Native American heritage and culture. It was originally inhabited by tribes such as Tututni who were primarily hunter-gatherers relying on fishing from rivers and hunting game for their sustenance.

In 1851 gold was discovered nearby which led to rapid settlement around these parts but also resulted into conflicts between settlers and native inhabitants leading eventually to Rogue River Wars (1855-56). After wars ended most natives were relocated elsewhere while some remained behind integrating themselves within new communities formed post-war period.

During early 20th century efforts began towards conservation & preservation of unique coastal ecosystems present here resulting finally into establishment of parkland under jurisdictional control over State Parks Department sometime during late half-century or so onwards till date where visitors can enjoy various recreational activities like windsurfing due to windy conditions prevalent there besides hiking trails offering panoramic views surrounding landscapes among others things available at disposal.

Anglers can enjoy river and ocean fishing, targeting species like steelhead trout, Chinook salmon or surfperch. Fly-fishing is also popular.

Pistol River State Park offers scenic picnic spots with ocean views. Picnic tables and restrooms are available for visitors' convenience.
1. Buzzards Roost Trail: This is a moderate 2-mile loop trail that offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and surrounding forested hillsides.

2. Pistol River Loop Trail: A relatively easy, flat 3-mile hike along the banks of the scenic Pistol River with opportunities for bird watching and wildlife spotting.

3. South Coast Ridge Trail: An adventurous trek offering panoramic ocean vistas from atop rugged cliffs; this challenging route stretches over six miles one way through dense forests to open meadows.

4. Myrtle Tree Loop Hike: A short but steep half mile round trip leading hikers up close to an ancient myrtle tree believed to be hundreds of years old in lush green surroundings.

5. Beach Access Trails: Numerous unnamed trails provide direct access from parking areas down sandy paths onto pristine beaches where you can enjoy beachcombing or simply admire coastal scenery at your own pace.

6. Oregon Coastal Pathway: Partly running through park boundaries, it's part of a larger network stretching across entire coastline providing breathtaking sea views throughout its length within park limits.

7. Forest View Walk: Shorter than most other routes (less than a mile), perfect for families with young children or those seeking less strenuous activity while still enjoying beautiful woodland scenes.

8. Wildlife Observation Point Track: Specifically designed path taking visitors towards popular spots known for frequent sightings including deer, raccoons & variety birds species native region.
The park offers a variety of birding opportunities with diverse species like ospreys, eagles and shorebirds. Birdwatchers can explore different habitats including beaches, dunes and forests. Binoculars are recommended for optimal viewing.

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Area Campgrounds
AtRivers Edge RV Resort
98203 SB Chetco River Road
Brookings, OR
Nearby Hotels

Pistol River State Park is located in Curry County, Oregon. To reach the park from Portland, you will need to take I-5 South towards Grants Pass. Continue on this highway until you reach Exit 55 for US-199 S/Redwood Highway towards Crescent City/Gold Beach.

Take this exit and merge onto US-199 S/Redwood Highway. Follow this road for approximately 50 miles until you arrive at Gold Beach. In Gold Beach, turn left onto OR-101 S/Oregon Coast Hwy and continue driving south.

After about 10 miles on OR-101 S, look out for signs indicating Pistol River State Park or simply follow your GPS directions if available. The entrance to the park should be clearly marked along the highway.

Once inside Pistol River State Park, there are various amenities and activities to enjoy such as hiking trails with scenic views of coastal dunes and forests or exploring the beach area where visitors can engage in fishing or picnicking by the riverbank.

To return back north after visiting Pistol River State Park, retrace your steps by heading northbound on OR-101 N/Oregon Coast Hwy until reaching a suitable junction that allows merging back onto I -5 North which leads directly back toward Portland.

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Oregon State Parks