Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor – Brookings, Oregon

September 2015

Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor is a strip of land 12 miles long and sits between Highway 101 and the ocean. Located about 3 miles north of Brookings, Oregon, the park has 1,471 acres with 12 parking lots giving access to the beaches and extensive trail network. This is a day use only area, with no overnight camping facilities.

I spent my last Sunday on the Oregon coast exploring this impressive stretch of land, making stops at 11 of the 12 parking areas. A lot of hiking along beaches and through forests was done. Along the way I found my favorite place that I visited on the Oregon coast. I found a place of pure tranquility.

Below are the some of the areas I visited, in the order I visited them.

Lone Ranch Beach

The only area of the scenic corridor know for its tide pools, I made a beeline here first thing as it was low tide early in the day.

Secret Beach

Another place that is best to access at low tide is Secret Beach. When the tide is low, you can access areas of the beach that are otherwise covered with water. A bit of a hike to get to, but the walk is worth it as you enter a secluded area. Which happened to have people there. Story of my life.

Arch Rock

Pretty self-explanatory. A place to view a rock that looks like an arch. 🙂

Natural Bridges

A short hike brings you to a viewing platform where you can see natural bridge rock formations.


North Island

North Island offered a great view of China Beach, one of the longer stretches of beach in the scenic corridor.

Thomas Creek Bridge

The Thomas Creek Bridge is the highest bridge in Oregon, at 345 feet high.


Indian Sands

My favorite place on the Oregon coast was the Indian Sands section of the scenic corridor. High above the ocean on a bluff you find sand aplenty. Dunes to climb. Stretches of sand that are much like beaches, but high above the water. This sand comes from the eroding sandstone rather than the ocean.

In 2002 a team of researchers found evidence of early human activity here, dating back 12,000 years. At that time this land was about a mile inland, so the view was very different.

After a short (maybe 1/4 mile) hike in from the parking lot, the forest opens up and you are on a sandy bluff above the Pacific. There aren’t many defined trails, so you explore the area as you see fit, being careful not to cause damage. There is sand. There are basalt formations. There are arch rocks. There are outstanding views of the blue ocean below.

This place spoke to me. There were some people, but it was simple to get away and find a deserted place to reflect. Loved, loved, loved it here!

Whaleshead Island

The beach at Whaleshead Island is accessible from two parking lots. The main one that allows for a nice, level stroll to the sand. And one just to the south that is actually the viewpoint, but has a steep trail to the beach. Naturally I took the steep trail.

Not 100% sure which of the rock formations offshore is Whaleshead Island. I have an idea, but I will let you decide. 😉

House Rock

House Rock viewpoint offered another view up north towards Whaleshead Island and the beach I just visited.


Cape Ferrelo

The one thing I remember about Cape Ferrelo is the wind. As I hiked the cape trail, I had a hard time standing up at times. It was a wee bit windy!

Cape Ferrelo gave a great view to the south of my first stop of the day – Lone Ranch Beach. By the time I had this view of the beach, the tide was up and the tide pools I visited in the morning were under water.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s