Located at the end of Cape Arago Highway, about 14 miles southwest of Coos Bay, and 5 miles of Charleston, the park is a part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge. Bordered on the south by Shore Acres State Park, Cape Arago was a part of Louis J. and Lela Simpson estate. They donated it to the State of Oregon in 1932.
In 1778 the headland was named Cape Gregory in Saint Gregory honor and renamed Cape Arago after French physicist and politician Francois Arago in 1850. There is a theory that in 1579 English explorer Sir Francis Drake sheltered his ship in the south cove of Cape Arago. During the World War II, this spot was used by the Coast Guard and U.S. Army as a lookout site and a radio station.
The park offers an opportunity for fishing, hiking, watching seabirds, offshore colonies of seals and sea lions at Simpson Reef and Shell Island. As a part of OCT*, a four-mile trail along the coast leads to Sunset Bay State Park via Shore Acres State Park. Another two and a half miles Pack Trail goes back to Shore Acres. Also, there are half miles trails (north and south coves) to refuge and tidepools.
The south cove trail leads to a sandy beach and excellent tidepools (Please do not touch or remove tidepools plants and animals!).
The north cove trail runs down to a beach with tidepools, spots for fishing, and views of the off-shore colonies of seals and sea lions at Shell Island. The north cove is closed from March 1st to June 30th to protect seal pups.
OCT* - Oregon Coast Trail
Region: South Oregon Coast • USA
Operated: Oregon State Park
Acreage: 145.6 acres
Access allowed: Year-round, 7 am to 8 pm
Service: Picnic tables, restrooms, gazebo shelter
Dogs: Must be on a leash
GPS Coordinates: 43.306160, -124.3997
Directions to Cape Arago
Follow Highway US-101 to Johnson Ave in Coos Bay, take Libby Ln and drive for 7.3 miles to Cape Arago Highway. Turn left onto Cape Arago Highway in Barview and continue for 5.3 miles to Cape Arago State Park.