|Oregon Coast Notes|
|Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge|
From nearly every viewpoint on the Oregon coast, colossal rocks can be seen jutting out of the Pacific Ocean creating postcard images.
Each of these rocks is protected as part of Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge includes 1,853 small islands, rocks, and reefs plus two headlands, totaling 371 acres spanning 320 miles of Oregon's coastline from the Oregon–California border to Tillamook Head.
Public access to the coastal rocks and islands and the Crook Point Unit is closed to public use. All of the island acreage is designated National Wilderness, with the exception of 1-acre Tillamook Rock and Lighthouse.
Spectacular viewing opportunities exist at numerous locations along the coast or visit the Coquille Point Unit of the refuge where visitor facilities will enhance your experience.
Wildlife and Habitats
Thirteen species of seabirds nest on this refuge, including Common Murres, Tufted Puffins, Leach's and Fork-tailed Storm-petrels, Rhinoceros Auklets, Brandt's, Pelagic and Double-crested cormorants, and Pigeon guillemots. Harbor seals, California sea lions, Steller sea lions and Northern elephant seals use refuge lands for breeding and haulout areas.
The seabirds and pinnipeds found on offshore rocks, reefs and islands are extremely susceptible to human disturbance, thus they are closed to public entry year-round. However, many state parks and other open spaces along the mainland offer phenomenal views of the refuge and its wildlife. Mainland sites with viewing decks overlooking seabird colonies include Ecola State Park, Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint, Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, Coquille Point in Bandon, Heceta Head State Scenic Viewpoint, and Harris Beach State Park.
Coquille Point, a mainland unit of Oregon Islands Refuge located in Bandon, is a spectacular place to observe seabirds and harbor seals as well as explore the beach. The point overlooks a series of offshore rocks of every shape and size that provide habitat for Common Murre, Tufted Puffin, Western Gull and Brandt's Cormorant as well as Harbor seal and rocky intertidal invertebrates. A paved trail winds over the headland and features interpretive panels that share stories about the area's wildlife and its rich Native American history. Stairways to the beach are located on opposite sides of the headland and allow visitors to make a loop on the beach (when tide levels permit). Please remember to keep your distance from Harbor seals and please do not touch seal pups.
Be sure to check out our Wildlife Maps on Our Oregon Coast Maps page