A scenic drive from Gold Beach.
Trip length: 1/2 - 2 hours, about 15 miles round trip.
Trip highlights: Explore rural coastal Oregon.
Visit Otter Point if you desire.
See map at bottom of page.
My favorite direction for this trip is counter-clockwise. You will begin your trip from Gold Beach, heading north. As you leave Gold Beach heading north you will pass the Port of Gold Beach on the left. This is the home of Jerry's Rogue Jets, one of the Gold Beach major attractions. You'll also spot the Mary D. Hume. And you can also see where the Rogue River enters the ocean.
Just before crossing the Patterson Bridge notice that the South Bank Road goes to the right. You won't turn here for this trip but remember the South Bank Road. It goes a lot of places.
Cross the Rogue River Bridge (the Patterson Bridge) and turn right as soon as you have crossed. Hungry for a snack. Stop at the Wedderburn Store for sweets or sandwiches. They also carry beer, wine, homemade pies, etc. Or a bit further down the road is Patty's Rollin in Dough Restaurant, a great place for lunch.
After you pass the Wedderburn Store you will come to Lex's Landing. The large building here used to be across the river about a century ago. You can launch boats here...buy tackle...eat breakfast or lunch, or spend the night if you have an RV.
And next on the right is the Mail Boats. The Mail Boats and Jerry's Jet Boats are our two commercial jet boat companies that run tourist (and locals like me) as far as 52 miles upriver to Blossom Bar.
And now your trip will start to get relaxing. After you pass the Tidewater gravel plant operation (gravel is a Rogue River renewable resource) you will come to the country. Bingo...there you will be. In the country. You'll see lots of grazing land and perhaps cows or elk. Take a deep breath. Drive slowly. Continue your trip. Watch for birds.
After you have gone through what we call the "S" curves you will find yourself in a residential area. And then you will see the Rogue River Tavern and Store coming up on the right. Stay straight through this intersection. Do you see chickens in the road here today? They are usually here, and alive. Don't know how they do it.
Edson Creek is to your right until you cross it...then of course it will be on your left. Sea People (folks who make great aluminum boats) are up to your right. Watershed folks have been reworking this little salmon bearing creek...placing logs and slash into the creek to help young salmon survive. Enjoy the rolling hills. Notice the little Christmas Tree farm on your right?
You'll pass the driveway to Edson Creek Rock. This great little outfit is owned and operated by the Smith Family (Floyd, Herb, Ken). Many of us who live in Gold Beach have had the Smith Family grade and rock our road or harvest timber from our land.
Near the top of the hill you'll pass our dump. This is really a transfer station. We bring our garbage to the transfer station and it gets hauled to the Willamette Valley. Many if not most of the residents in Gold Beach do not have garbage pickup...rather they drive to the dump. The Bonneville Power Station is next on the left...though you'll be able to just see the wires.
Important Intersection Ahead:
And now you have a decision to make. The flashing red light (a story all by itself) that you see flashing ahead marks the intersection with Highway 101. If you are in a hurry, go to Highway 101, turn left, return to Gold Beach.
But, if you are not in a hurry and don't mind a nice gravel road turn left about a block before you get to Highway 101. Drive slowly...particularly if it is dusty. Remember, you are not in a hurry for this. This is the Old Coast Road. This road is what was used in the old days. You'll pass some homes. You'll drive by my home. Please don't honk. And then you will come to 'just a country road'. Drive slowly. Enjoy the countryside. Too soon you'll come to Highway 101 again. And time for another...
Turn left here onto Highway 101 to get to Gold Beach quickly. Or cross Highway 101 to continue on the Old Coast Road.
If you cross Highway 101 to continue on Old Coast Road you will soon come to a right hand turn to Otter Point. If you have some time (even just 5 minutes) turn into Otter Point. It's awesome.
Continue south on Old Coast Road. You will pass through coastal forests and then will come to grazing land. Both cattle and sheep are grazed to your left. And then you will come to where people live. We locals call this Rogue Shores. Nice huh? And looking to your left and up above the pasture you will see Rogue Hills. Another nice area.
As you continue south on the Old Coast Road you will come to the Rogue River. Stop here on the North Jetty for a moment. Watch the water flow by. Watch the life on the river. Notice the Jetty Cat establishment. And then continue into civilization and past the Jot's Resort complex. Turn right onto the Patterson Bridge and find yourself back in Gold Beach. Nice ride?