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Oregon State Parks

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USA Parks
Oregon Coast Region
Sunset Bay State Park
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Sunset Bay State Park © Don Allan
Sunset Bay State Park © Don Allan
Sunset Bay State Park © Don Allan
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Situated in one of the most scenic areas on the Oregon coast, Sunset Bay State Park features beautiful sandy beaches protected by towering sea cliffs. Only a short walk from the beach, the campground has sites for tent camping and RV's, as well as cozy and comfortable yurts. Day-use and picnic facilities are located along the bay to allow easy access for beachcombing, fishing, swimming, and boating.

A network of hiking trails connects Sunset Bay with nearby Shore Acres and Cape Arago State Parks. Hiking these trails will give you a chance to experience pristine coastal forests, seasonal wildflowers and spectacular ocean vistas from atop the rugged cliffs and headlands. From points along the trail, you'll be treated to views of Gregory Point and the Cape Arago lighthouse.

A public golf course is located next to the park and the nearby fishing village of Charleston provides opportunities for crabbing, clamming and fishing. In fact, there are plenty of secret treasures in the Sunset Bay area.
History of the Area
Located in Coos County, Oregon near Charleston and North Bend, the park that is now a popular destination for camping and picnicking was originally inhabited by Native American tribes. The area's rich history dates back to thousands of years when it served as home to indigenous people.

In 1853, European settlers arrived at this location which led to conflicts with native inhabitants resulting in their displacement. During these early settlement days, the bay became an important site for shipping coal mined from nearby areas.

The land transitioned into private ownership during much of its modern history until philanthropist Louis J Simpson donated part of his estate including Shore Acres (now another state park) along with what would become today's beloved coastal retreat around mid-20th century.

It officially opened up as a public recreational space under management by Oregon Parks and Recreation Department on July 30th ,1962 offering visitors access to sandy beaches surrounded by towering cliffs alongside opportunities like hiking trails through lush forests or exploring tide pools teeming with marine life.

Over time additional amenities were added such as campgrounds equipped with yurts making it more appealing for overnight stays while picnic spots provided day trippers scenic views over meals outdoors.

Today it continues attracting nature lovers who enjoy activities ranging from bird watching due its diverse avian population; fishing owing abundant aquatic resources; boating facilitated via boat ramp besides swimming despite chilly waters thanks Pacific Ocean currents influencing local climate conditions year-round.

 Electric Sitesyes
 Water/Electric Sitesyes
 Full Hookup Sitesyes
1. Sunset Bay Campground: This campground offers 65 tent sites, 30 RV (recreational vehicle) sites with electrical hookups and two group camping areas.

2. Yurts Rental: The park also has eight yurts available for rent which are a comfortable alternative to traditional camping as they come equipped with beds, heat, lights and locking doors.

3. Group Tent Camping Area: There is an area specifically designated for groups who wish to camp together in tents.

4. Hiker/Biker Campsite: For those traveling on foot or by bike there's a special hikers/bikers camp that provides basic amenities like showers and restrooms at lower rates than regular campsites.

5. Cabins Rentals: Some cabins are pet-friendly but you need to check availability before booking them.

6. RV Dump Station: A dump station is provided within the state park where recreational vehicles can dispose of their waste water safely.
1. Sunset Bay State Park offers a safe swimming area in the sheltered bay, perfect for families with children.
2. The park's sandy beach is ideal for sunbathing and building sandcastles after swimming.
3. Lifeguards are not always on duty; swimmers should exercise caution when entering water unattended.
4. For more adventurous visitors, snorkeling opportunities exist around the rocky areas of the bay during low tide periods.
5. Kayaking or paddleboarding can also be enjoyed as alternative ways to explore this beautiful aquatic environment at your own pace.

The park offers a variety of boating options. Visitors can kayak or canoe in the bay, with rentals available nearby for those who don't have their own equipment. The calm waters make it ideal for beginners and families. For more experienced boaters, there are opportunities to venture out into the Pacific Ocean from Coos Bay's Charleston Harbor located close by.
Enjoy fishing in the bay for species like rockfish, greenling and surfperch. Crabbing is also a popular activity here.

Sunset Bay State Park offers picnic tables and grills, perfect for a family outing. Enjoy meals with stunning ocean views.
1. Sunset Bay Nature Trail: This is a 0.5-mile trail that offers an easy walk through the park's lush coastal forest, providing views of native plants and wildlife.

2. Cape Arago Pack Trail: A moderate difficulty level hike spanning about 3 miles round trip, this trail connects Sunset Bay with nearby Shore Acres and Cape Arago State Parks offering stunning ocean vistas along the way.

3. South Cove Nature Trail: An approximately one mile long looped path which takes hikers around scenic viewpoints overlooking rugged cliffs and crashing waves in South Cove area of the park.

4. North Point Loop Hike: This short but steep half-a-mile trek leads to breathtaking panoramic views from atop high cliff edges at North Point lookout spot within the state park grounds.

5. Sunset Beach Walkway: It's a paved pathway suitable for all skill levels leading directly to beautiful sandy beachfronts where visitors can enjoy picnicking or simply watching sunsets over Pacific Ocean horizon.

6. Shore Acres Botanical Garden Pathways: Although technically part of adjacent Shore Acres Park connected via trails network, these well-maintained paths meander through beautifully landscaped gardens featuring diverse plant species including rare exotic flowers during blooming seasons.

7. Cape Creek Bridge Crossing: While not exactly hiking route itself, it serves as gateway between different sections across creek bed allowing access further into more remote areas like Simpson Reef Overlook known for its seal colonies sightings.

8. Oregon Coast Trails Section: Partly running parallel coastline inside sunset bay boundaries before extending beyond towards other regional parks forming continuous stretch popular among long:distance backpackers exploring entire Oregon coast on foot.

9. Interpretive Panels Route: Scattered throughout various points are informative panels explaining local ecology history making educational addition while strolling leisurely amidst natural surroundings.
Biking enthusiasts should be aware that the park itself lacks designated cycling trails. However, nearby Cape Arago Highway offers a scenic biking route with ocean views.

It's important to note this highway can have heavy traffic at times and does not always provide bike lanes. Therefore, cyclists must exercise caution while sharing the road with vehicles.

For those seeking off-road experiences, Shore Acres State Park is close by offering mountain biking opportunities on rugged terrain but requires advanced skills due to its challenging nature.

Remember: safety gear like helmets and reflective clothing are essential for all bikers regardless of where they choose to ride in or around the area.
Birdwatchers can enjoy spotting a variety of species including shorebirds, waterfowl and raptors. Guided bird walks are available.

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1. Starting from Coos Bay, head south on US:101 for approximately 8 miles.
2. Take a left onto Cape Arago Highway and continue driving west for around 3 miles.
3. You will see signs directing you to Sunset Bay State Park; follow these signs as they lead you into the park entrance.

If coming from another direction or starting point, please consult a map or GPS device for specific directions based on your location.

Once inside the state park:
4. Follow the main road through lush forests until it leads you directly to Sunset Beach parking area near Simpson Reef Overlook.
5. There are ample parking spaces available in designated areas throughout the park.

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Oregon State Parks