Sunset Bay State Park
By Erin Bernard
Published: 06/04/2014  Updated: 08/16/2019
Sunset Bay State Park's small cove beach is a big attraction for swimmers, beach play or tidepool exploring.
Sunset Bay State Park's small cove beach is a big attraction for swimmers, beach play or tidepool exploring.  Photo by Gary Hayes

Access to an intimate cove beach and hiking trails to the end of Cape Arago with spectacular views around every turn, make this park and its two bordering State Parks a highly-recommended side trip off Highway 101.

Standing on the sands of Sunset Bay, you'll feel embraced by long stands of green trees stretching out into the ocean alongside dramatic rock promontories. But these enclosures aren't just beautiful, they protect the bay from the strongest of the coastal winds and waves, making them an ideal swimming hole on a warm summer afternoon. At low tide, tidepools can be explored in the rocky intertidal area.

Venture into the park's spread of hiking trails and you can revel in the lush forest and incredible views including the Cape Arago Lighthouse and Gregory Point. If you're looking for a longer excursion, the trails link up with Shore Acres and Cape Arago State Parks for amazing views of the dramatically sculpted sandstone cliffs, rock formations and reefs. Crabbing, clamming and fishing are options at nearby Charleston, or you can hit the greens at the adjacent nine-hole Sunset Bay Golf Course.

The park's campground offers more than 65 tent sites, 30 spaces with full hook-ups and another 35 with water and electric, as well as eight yurts.

Sunset Bay State Park is located 2.5 miles outside of Charleston, about 12 miles from downtown Coos Bay and U.S. Highway 101.
Sunset Bay State Park