You are here

Pets allowed
Allowed
Guided tours
No
Backcountry camping
No
Lodging
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Sunset Bay is nearly its own lagoon, and only a relatively small gap in an otherwise erosion-resistant band of sandstone connects the bay to the ocean. This leads to an exaggerated crescent shape that, combined with the large, family-friendly white sand beach and the mellow calm of the water, has the sense of a gigantic, ear-to-ear smile. Because the area is so shielded from the Pacific, the bay is an ideal place to launch small watercraft, and anyone choosing to stay on the shore can easily keep an eye on those exploring the water.

A non-beach oriented day use area is just down the road, and really this is a small park that can stand on its own as a destination apart from the bay. Here you’ll find volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, a basketball court, a shaded and large grassy area with several picnic tables, and an enclosed group space available by reservation. Big Creek meanders through the park, allowing for a small bridge beneath the Douglas firs to complete the rustic setting. Oddly enough, this day use area was the point of origin when, in 1973, the adventuresome and wealthy Malcolm Forbes became the first person to cross the continent in a hot air balloon. With his aerial perspective, surely Mr. Forbes appreciated the bay’s Cheshire Cat-like grin sending him off.

Both the bay and inland day use areas are equipped with plenty of day use staples: picnic tables, an amphitheater, large restrooms with changing spaces, showers, flush toilets, and readily available potable water. Sunset Bay State Park Campground is just a short walk from both spots, making the park a great option for a weekend retreat, and hiking trails lead farther south down the coast to Shore Acres State Park and to Cape Arago State Park.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Beautiful bay. Shaded day use area. Nearby campground.

Cons

None.

Features

ADA accessible
Campgrounds + Campsites
Showers
Amphitheater
Flushing toilets
Bicycling
Potable water
Picnic tables
Covered picnic areas
Volleyball
Bird watching
Wildlife

Site type

Full hookups
Yurts

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Comments

Amazing tide pools!
Amazing tide pools!
Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.

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.

More content from The People's Coast