Exploring the Gold Beach Area

As with so many other coastal towns, the attractions of Gold Beach are not in the town itself but in the surrounding area. The Rogue is the focal point here.

Curry Historical Museum  MUSEUMThis diminutive local history museum has displays of Native American and pioneer artifacts as well as re-created environments such as a miner’s cabin that provide an overview of the history of the area.

29419 Ellensburg Ave. www.curryhistory.com. tel. 541/247-9396. $2 adults, 50[ce] children. Tues-Sat 10am-4pm. Closed Jan.

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HikingThere’s an abundance of outstanding hiking trails in the area, including the following:

*       The trail head for the 6-mile Rogue River Walk  begins 7 miles from the south end of the Patterson Bridge, east on Jerry’s Flat Road. The trail provides spectacular views of the Rogue as it weaves through areas with spring wildflowers, myrtlewood groves, and over bridges. There are benches along the way to rest, do some bird watching, and take in the view.

*       At the Frances Schrader Old Growth Trail , 10 miles up Jerry’s Flat Road/South Bank Rogue River Road near the Lobster Creek Campground, you can take a 1-mile loop trail through a stand of majestic, old-growth trees, including a grove of Port Orford cedars; these trees are native to a limited range in southwest Oregon and northwest California.

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*       Not far from the Old Growth Trail, you’ll find the Myrtle Tree Trail . Along this .25-mile trail, you’ll find the world’s largest myrtle tree, 88 feet tall and 42 feet in circumference. From U.S. 101 in Gold Beach, drive east on Jerry’s Flat Road, (FS Road 33) toward Agness. At approximately 9 1/2 miles, turn left on FS Road 3310, cross the bridge over the river, and turn right on Silver Creek Road (FS Road 3533) and watch for signs. Park at the turn-out on the right side of road; the trail head is on the left side of the road.

For more information on hiking in the Gold Beach area and specific directions to the trail heads, contact the Siskiyou National Forest’s Gold Beach Ranger Station, 29279 Ellensburg Ave. (www.fs.fed.us/r6/rogue-siskiyou; tel. 541/247-3600). The Gold Beach Visitor Center  can also help direct you to the trail heads.

Rafting the rogue

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A guided white-water rafting trip down the wild and scenic Rogue is an unforgettable experience, but it takes some planning, and the rafting season is fairly short. Rafting trips generally start near Agness, about 35 miles up the Rogue from Gold Beach, or Merlin, 130 miles west of Gold Beach near Grants Pass. White-water-rafting companies offer half-day, full-day, or multiday trips that stop at rustic river lodges or campsites along the riverbanks (your guides do most of the work, setting up camp and preparing meals). Area rafting companies include Rogue Wilderness Adventures (www.wildrogue.com; tel. 800/336-1647 or 541/479-9554); Galice Resort, 11744 Galice Rd., Merlin (www.galice.com; tel. 541/476-3818); Orange Torpedo Trips, 210 Merlin Rd., Merlin (www.orangetorpedo.com; tel. 866/479-5061 or 541/479-5061); and Rogue River Raft Trips, Morrison’s Lodge, 8500 Galice Rd., Merlin (www.rogueriverraft.com; tel. 800/826-1963 or 541/476-3825). Expect to pay around $70 to $80 for a half day and $85 to $95 for a full day. Three-day lodge or camping trips are in the $650 to $1000 range.

Nesika Beach  OCEAN BEACHWhen you want to get out on the beach, head north of town across the Rogue River to Nesika Beach. To reach the best stretch of this beach, take the North Nesika Beach turnoff and then continue north to the end of the road. Alternatively, continue a little farther north to Old Coast Road, where you’ll find a steep trail down to the beach.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.