Share:

Oceanside + Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge

Northern Oregon Coast, Oregon

Start Exploring
Oceanside + Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge

Share:

  • View looking south to Oceanside and Cape Lookout. - Oceanside + Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge
  • Oceanside beach looking out toward Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge.- Oceanside + Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge
  • Oceanside beach looking out toward Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge.- Oceanside + Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge
  • View looking south toward Cape Lookout. - Oceanside + Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge
  • Hedge morning glory (Calystegia sepium).- Oceanside + Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge
  • Unidentified sedum species (help us identify it by providing feedback).- Oceanside + Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge
  • Unidentified sedum species (help us identify it by providing feedback).- Oceanside + Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge
  • View out toward Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge.- Oceanside + Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge
  • View south of Cape Lookout from Oceanside.- Oceanside + Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge
  • Oceanside.- Oceanside + Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge
  • Oceanside + Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge.- Oceanside + Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge
  • Oceanside, Oregon.- Oceanside + Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge
  • Oceanside, Oregon.- Oceanside + Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge
  • OceansideView of Oceanside + Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge from across Netarts Bay.- Oceanside + Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge
  • Oceanside + Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge.- Oceanside + Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge
  • Oceanside + Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge.- Oceanside + Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge
  • Oceanside + Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge.- Oceanside + Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge
  • Oceanside + Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge.- Oceanside + Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge
  • Oceanside + Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge.- Oceanside + Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge
  • Cormorants at Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge.- Oceanside + Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge
  • Oceanside + Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge.- Oceanside + Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge
  • Night sky at nearby Netarts, Oregon.- Oceanside + Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge
  • Three Arch Rocks from Oceanside Beach.- Oceanside + Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge
  • Be sure to walk through the pedestrian tunnel to the Agate Beach north of Maxwell Point!- Oceanside + Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge
  • Beautiful sunset on Agate Beach through the pedestrian tunnel.- Oceanside + Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge
  • Beautiful sunset on Agate Beach through the pedestrian tunnel.- Oceanside + Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge
  • Beautiful sunset on Agate Beach through the pedestrian tunnel.- Oceanside + Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Open sandy beach. Quaint town.
Cons: 
Bird watching is long-distance.
Region:
Northern Oregon Coast, OR
Congestion: 
Moderate
Location type: 
Sandy beach
Rocky shore
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Current Local Weather:
Published in collaboration with
Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Team

Oceanside is an idyllic coastal community located along the Three Capes Scenic Loop,* a 25-mile byway off of US Highway 101 between Tillamook and Pacific City.  Perched up on a hilltop overlooking the Pacific, this town of little more than a few cafes and vacation rentals is the perfect spot for travelers who prefer to avoid the crowds that head to more popular northern Oregon coast communities.  Oceanside Beach State Recreation Area sits at the doorstep of the small town, and it is the perfect spot to spend a sunny afternoon beach combing or exploring the rugged rock formations at the beach's northern end.

The unassuming Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge sits farther off-shore.  Established in 1907 and designated by Theodore Roosevelt after persuasion from conservationists William Finley and Herman Bohlman, Three Arch Rocks was actually the first National Wildlife Refuge west of the Mississippi.  The refuge is home to Oregon's largest seabird nesting colony, including more than 100,000 nesting common murre and the largest colony of the iconic tufted puffin.  The refuge is also a pupping site for the federally protected Steller sea lions, the larger of the two types of sea lions found on the Oregon Coast.  You'll have to bring your high-powered binoculars or a telescope, however, because the rocky islands are a half-mile out at sea and completely restricted to all human activities; even boats must remain 500 feet away.

* When visiting Oceanside, be sure to visit all three of the scenic headlands off of the byway, including Cape Meares, Cape Lookout and Cape Kiwanda.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

Download
Published in collaboration with
Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(7 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(51 within a 30 mile radius)

Published in collaboration with
Related Content

Related Content

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It
56 Members
Who's Done It
53 Members
Submission by
Team
1266 Adventures Explored
1264 Adventures Published

Published in collaboration with The People's Coast

A profound concept originally envisioned by governor Oswald West, in 1967 the Oregon legislature ultimately realized his vision of making the entire Oregon Coast forever open to the public in a piece of landmark legislation titled the Oregon Beach Bill, officially making all 363 miles public land. "The People's Coast" is truly a one-of-a-kind coastline, a unique blend of mountains and rocky stacks, towering old growth forests, marine sanctuaries, tide pools and kelp forests, charming towns, historic fishing communities, world-class golfing, breweries, and simply jaw-dropping scenic beaches. We encourage you to plan your next trip at visittheoregoncoast.com or by calling (541) 574-2679.

Newsletter Signup

Join the Outdoor Project Community

Get access to essential planning materials and information for your next adventure. Take a few seconds to join the community. It’s FREE!

Free Field Guides + Maps

Post Updates, Tips + Comments

Organize + Track Your Adventures

Insider Detailed Info, News + Benefits

Custom Driving Directions

Recommended Campsites, Photos + Reservation Info