In Southern Oregon


  • port orford
  • whale watching and scub diving

Port Orford is located about 50 miles north of the California border, on the southern end of the Oregon coast. Port Orford is known for it's mild climate, fishing, whale watching and more. Port Orford sets on coastal bench lands above a beautiful, semi-protected cove.
This region of Oregon has very dynamic sandy beaches with headlands of sandstone or metamorphic rock. Many distinct communities of life live in the sand and rock beaches here. The animals living on the sandy beach usually burrow down, while the rocks provide homes for other life including plant life. You will see a lot of shorebirds in this area. Scuba diving is a favorite activity here, especially when the whales are swimming about.

Whale watching is a favorite pastime. This area features a natural deep-water harbor, is also a very popular spot for scuba diving, whale watching, Fishing and crabbing.

The harbor remains unprotected by breakwaters or jetties, so the local fishing fleet uses a unique system in which the boats are hoisted up from the water and onto trailers parked on a large fishing dock. Horseneck Clams are found about three or four feet in the mud and sand in the bay. They have a shell that measures 6 to 8 inches. "Gaper" is the true name for Horseneck clam. the best place to go claming is Carleton Bay.
A large array of driftwood is deposited on the shore during storms and high winds. This makes beachcombing plentiful. Agates and other semi-precious stones can be found in the gravel at low and high tides. The waves move the beach gravel which exposes them. Go at low tide.

The 4th of July celebration and fireworks display is the town�s main event. People from all over come to see this spectacular yearly event.

This beautiful area has an abundance of recreational activities. Explore the mountains, beaches, wildlife, campgrounds, fishing, crabbing, whale watching, scuba diving, windsurfing, wilderness mountain hiking or biking and much more!
History - The bluffs of Port Orford overlooking the Pacific Ocean were first sighted in 1792 by Capt. George Vancouver who named the area for England's Earl of Orford. The town, settled in the 1850's, became a shipping center for cedar, which remains a primary industry. The first settlers were drawn to this natural harbor. They came to log the virgin forests that included Port Orford cedar (the aromatic white cedar). A skirmish between the Indians and the intruding settlers forced the settlers onto a small offshore island that became known as Battle Rock.

Elk River is north of the town. Chinook fishing starts in early November (when the heavier rains begin) and lasts through January. Steelhead fishing starts around the end of January and runs for about 90 days. The unique open water port is famous for its huge yellow cranes which fishermen use to launch their boats from their dry dock berths.
For Visitor Info Call: Port Orford Chamber Of Commerce 541-332-8055

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