Cape Blanco State Park
By Erin Bernard
Published: 06/30/2014
The Cape Blanco Lighthouse, panoramic views and hiking trails are among the attractions of Cape Blanco State Park.
The Cape Blanco Lighthouse, panoramic views and hiking trails are among the attractions of Cape Blanco State Park.  Photo by Gary Hayes

A short side trip off Coast Highway U.S. 101 near Port Orford leads to Oregon's westernmost point and a picturesque lighthouse in a dramatic setting.

Early Spanish explorers christened this far out and very photogenic headland "Cape Blanco" after laying eyes upon its chalk-colored cliffs, which drop dramatically 200 feet into the foamy sea. The cape juts one-and-a-half miles out into the ocean and, on a clear day, the view extends even further. But Cape Blanco is much more than just a pretty viewpoint. The 2,000-acre park features eight miles of scenic trails along an out-of-the-way stretch of the Oregon coast. Large, rolling bluffs offer a gorgeous natural playground just begging to be hiked and explored. Catch a healthy draught of sea air and snap a few unforgettable photos: The views of wetland and forest are stellar. After dark, superior stargazing awaits.

This state park is also a great starting point for brushing up on your coastal history. The Cape Blanco Lighthouse bears the distinction of oldest standing lighthouse on the Oregon coast, while the nearby Victorian-era Hughes House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The park's campground offers 50 sites with water and electric, four cabins and equestrian adventurers will love the seven miles of horse trails and accompanying horse camp that includes eight primitive sites.

The turnoff to Cape Blanco State Park is located approximately five miles north of Port Orford, where Cape Blanco Road leads to the campground and ends at the lighthouse in just over five miles.
Cape Blanco State Park