As you get closer to Cannon Beach, Haystack Rock looms large above the long broad beach. This is the third-highest sea stack in the state, measuring 235 feet high. As part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge, it has wilderness status and is off-limits to climbing. Puffins and other seabirds nest on its steep faces, and intertidal organisms thrive in the tide pools around the base.
The surrounding tide pools, within a radius of 300 yards from the base of the monolith, are designated a “marine garden”; it’s open to exploration, but with strict no-collecting (of anything) and no-harassment (of any living organisms) protections in effect.Destination:Activities:
Devil’s Lake, just east of town, is the recreation center of Lincoln City. In addition to windsurfing and hydroplaning, you can catch eight species of fish here, including catfish, yellow perch, crappie, largemouth bass, and trout. Chinese grass carp were introduced to the lake to help control the rampant aquatic weeds.
There’s also good bird-watching on and around this shallow 678-acre lake, which attracts flocks of migratory geese, ducks, and other waterfowl. Species to look for include canvasbacks, Canada geese, widgeons, gadwalls, grebes, and mallards. Bald eagles and ospreys also nest in the trees bordering the lake.Destination:Activities:
Bird-watchers flock to the Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge (541/347-3683), especially in the fall, to take in what may be the prime birding site on the coast. The extensive mudflats attract flocks of shorebirds, including red phalaropes, black-bellied plovers, long-billed curlews, and dunlins, as well as such strays from Asia as Mongolian plovers.
he refuge protects more than 700 precious acres of the Coquille estuary’s remaining salt-marsh habitat along the southeastern side of the river. Migrating waterfowl, bald eagles, California brown pelicans, and other birds feast on the rich food sources. The refuge and its elevated observation deck are open daily sunrise–sunset.Destination:Activities:
At the northern limits of Brookings, across from the State Information Center on U.S. 101, Harris Beach State Park makes up for all the ugly architecture you’ll find on Chetco Avenue. One look at the 24 miles of rock and tide visible from the parking-lot promontory should quell any misgivings.
Harris Beach was named after the Scottish pioneer George Harris, who settled here in the late 1880s to raise sheep and cattle. Besides stunning views, this state park offers many incoming travelers from California their first chance to actually walk on the beach in Oregon.Destination:Activities:
The lakes, marshes, and streams in the Klamath Basin are protected by six different wildlife refuges that stretch between southern Oregon and northern California and are centrally managed by the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex. The refuge complex headquarters and visitor center (530/667-2231, www.fws.gov/klamathbasinrefuges, 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Sat.–Sun.) is 4 miles south of the California-Oregon border on U.S. 97.Destination:Activities:
Although some people do fish the Upper Deschutes River from the bank in the area around Sunriver, most anglers use drift boats. If you don’t have a boat, consider fishing the Fall River, off Route 43 (Century Dr.) southwest of Sunriver.
You can get equipment, licenses, advice, or a fishing guide at the Sunriver Fly Shop (56805 Venture Lane, Sunriver, 541/593-8814), located near the Chevron station in the business park–shopping area across the road from the entrance to Sunriver.Destination:Activities:
Shortly after you pass Mount Bachelor, you’ll find the turnoff to the exceptionally beautiful but equally rustic National Forest Service campground at Todd Lake. It’s a short walk up the trail from a parking area to the campsites at this 6,200-foot-high alpine lake. While tables, fire grills, and pit toilets are provided, you will need to pack in your own water and supplies, as no vehicles are allowed—a good thing, because the drone of a Winnebago generator into the wee hours of the night would definitely detract from the grandeur of this pristine spot.Destination:Activities:
The Pacific Flyway is an important migratory route that passes through Oregon, and the state’s varied ecosystems provide habitats for a variety of species, ranging from shorebirds to raptors to songbirds. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has established viewpoints for wildlife- and bird-watching at 12 Oregon national wildlife refuges, detailed in the destination chapters.Destination:Activities:
Ten miles northwest of Portland at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers is the rural enclave of Sauvie Island, a scant 20 minutes from downtown. On clear days here, views of the snowcapped Cascades Range backdrop oceangoing freighters and cruise ships.
Visitors enjoy horseback riding, swimming, and U-pick farms plying apples, berries, peaches, pears, nectarines, melons, green beans, corn, zucchini, tomatoes, and pumpkins. A favorite spot for bird-watching, the area sees eagles, great blue herons, geese, and sandhill cranes among the 250 species that pass through on the Pacific Flyway.Destination:Activities:
The federal government established several bird sanctuaries between Salem and Eugene in the mid-1960s because of the encroachment of urbanization and agriculture on the winter habitat of the dusky Canada goose. This species now comes to Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) west of Salem, Ankeny NWR southwest of Salem, and Finley NWR south of Corvallis each October after summering in Alaska’s Copper River Delta.Destination:Activities:
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