Pistol River is 10.5 miles south of Gold Beach and 17.2 miles north of Brookings. Turn east off Highway 101 onto Frontage Road and in 0.2 mile you will come to a “T” intersection for Pistol River Loop and Carpenterville Road. The area immediately at the “T” is worth checking out. Turn right (south) onto Carpenterville Road and birding is good for a half mile or so. Turning left (north) at the “T” will take you across Pistol River and you can continue on Pistol River Loop for 1.9 miles. Here you will arrive at the intersection of Highway 101 and Cape View Loop. Taking Cape View Loop from here also will return you to Highway 101 further north in 1.1 miles at Meyers Creek Road. Along Highway 101 between Meyers Creek Road and Frontage Road are pull-outs for beach access and the changing river mouth and estuary.
Habitat and Birds
Along with a river mouth and estuary, the Pistol River provides birds with varied habitats that include pastures, ponds, coastal scrub, riparian areas and trees like spruce, alder, and willow. Golden Eagles can be found at this location. Other birds that have been seen in this area include White-faced Ibis, Eurasian Wigeon, White-tailed Kite, Redshouldered Hawk, Snowy Plover, Solitary Sandpiper, Long-billed Curlew, Allen’s Hummingbird, Lewis’s Woodpecker, Say’s Phoebe, Tropical Kingbird, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Horned Lark, Northern Shrike, vagrant warblers (Prairie in 2002), Bobolink, Clay-colored Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow, and Swamp Sparrow. A Blue Grosbeak was spotted here in 2006.