Gold Beach is 55 miles south of Bandon on Highway 101 or 28 miles south of Port Orford. Alternatively it is 28 miles north of Brookings. There is a nice little harbor just south of the Rogue River (42.420192, -124.421797). From central Gold Beach at Hwy 101 and 8th Street, travel 0.9 miles north on Hwy 101 and turn left (west) onto Port Drive. The next left is Harbor Way with the harbor on the right. Continue for 0.3 miles and turn right onto South Jetty Road which turns into Oceanside Drive. You can overlook the mouth of the Rogue River here. Oceanside Drive bends south and parallels the beach (42.413551, -124.425756) and airport for one mile. You can scan the airport on your left and the beach on your right. Oceanside Drive returns to Highway 101 at the south end on 5th Place in 0.2 mile. A nice side trip is to take 3rd St. east into the Coast Range forest. From central Gold Beach at Highway 101 and 8th Street, travel north on Hwy 101 for 0.4 mile to 3rd Street. Turn right (east) onto 3rd Street which becomes Grizzly Mountain Road (42.413888, -124.402378) in 0.3 miles and takes you into good forest habitat for a change of species. Back in Gold Beach at Highway 101 and 8th Street you can travel south 0.7 mile to the Gold Beach Visitor Center at the south end of town on the west side of the highway. Turn right (west) to enter the parking area from where you can walk south 0.5 mile on the beach to the mouth of Hunter Creek (42.388839, -124.423092) to scope for gulls and shorebirds.
Habitat and Birds
Birds that have been seen in Gold Beach include Green-winged Teal, Eared Grebe, Brown Pelican, Great Egret, Osprey, assorted gulls, American Pipit, Allen’s Hummingbird, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Varied Thrush, and Fox Sparrow. Rare birds seen here include Greater White- fronted Goose, Baird’s Sandpiper, Ruff, Elegant Tern, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Cape May Warbler, Clay-colored Sparrow, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, Magnificent Frigatebird, White Wagtail, and Rusty Blackbird. More common birds here include Surf Scoter, Red-throated Loon, Pacific Loon, Red-necked Grebe, Brandt’s Cormorant, Pelagic Cormorant, Peregrine Falcon, Black Turnstone, Surfbird, Heerman’s Gull, Thayer’s Gull, Bewick’s Wren, Winter Wren, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Hutton’s Vireo, Wrentit, Cedar Waxwing, Lincoln’s Sparrow and American Goldfinch.