My Favorite Photography Spots at Samuel Boardman — Oregon

Samuel Boardman Scenic Corridor has always been a dream of mine to see, and when I finally got to experience this this 12 mile stretch of rugged Pacific Coast, I was completely blown away. No pictures on the internet could prepare me for the endless scenes of wild oceans dotted with dramatic, tree-topped-rocks. You'll find photo-worthy views all along this small Southern Oregon park, but here are a couple of my favorites.

Please always practice Leave No Trace when visiting these particularly special places and understand your impact on your surroundings. We're all here to marvel, appreciate, and respect each other and our experiences here.

This area can be hard to get to, and I ended up making a one week road trip out of my visit here and got to check off a couple other incredible waterfalls and lakes off my list at the same time! Click here for my one week road trip itinerary.


Area Info

Cost: Free
Where to stay: Brookings, OR
When to visit: Year round
When we visited: May


The Spots

Secret Beach

We chose this spot for our first Oregonian sunset of the trip. The dramatic rock formations jutting out of the water along the coast glowed orange when face with the setting sun. I literally shrieked when I emerged from the shrubs and got my first view of this stunning beach.


I feel like there could be better directions to get to this spot. We had just got in and wanted to catch the sunset, so we opted for the quickest way down to the beach. This means opting for the shortest route down, so we parked at the small unnamed pull out off the road marked here on Google Maps. Be careful when pulling off the highway, as there was a steep drop off the road and the Oregon Coast Highway can see quite a bit of traffic especially during rush hours around sunset.

From the lot, take the dirt path to the right through the trees, and you'll find yourself heading straight down to the beach at a decent decline. In only 15 minutes, we made it down to the shoreline fairly quickly.

Once you get down here, feel free to wander around the small waterfall at the base of the cliff, climbing on the rocks, and soaking in all of the beauty of the southern Oregon coast.


If you head up to the top of a small ridge on the north side of the beach, you'll be treated to a different view. There is a small alcove here with tall rock islands topped with trees that perfectly framed the setting sun this time of year.


Natural Bridges

Arguably the most popular, iconic, and sought after photography spot on the entire southern coast, the Natural Bridges area offers so many truly unique viewpoints and photo opportunities. After parking at the lot, you can view the bridges from the viewing deck at the top only a couple steps away from the lot.

We found several great view points with some bushwhacking and precarious cliffside navigating. The first was taking the trail past the viewing balcony, walking about three minutes before taking the path that descends down to the right off the main trail. This soon led us down to the forest edge and the cliff edge.

Be careful when exploring in this area, as you could easily slip on the dusty, washed out slopes. To the left there is a small peninsula that juts out where you can get a glimpse around the bend towards the other side of the ocean. We then wandered to the right, where you can actually crawl down the steep cliff and stand directly over the bridge.


Back on the main trail on our way back to the platform, we saw another side trail that we had passed and decided to see where it ended up. Roadtrips are all about exploration right? This trail was also very steep and slippery, but it led us to a closer view of the small cove formed by the arches. From this spot I loved watching the waves rhythmically push in through the arches and wash up on the sandy shore below.


The last view point we found was my favorite. Back at the parking lot, we followed a small trail to the right. The path zig-zagged through the trees down towards the water and then along a pretty narrow ridge before reaching the arches. Because of all the exposure and eroded portions, I would not recommend this adventure for children or those scared of heights.

Can't get over this view!

Can't get over this view!

However, once we got to the bridge from this side, we were surprised to find that the rock actually extends out behind the bridge, providing the perfect view straight down the corridor. Only from this spot can you see the final bridge!


Cape Ferrelo

We actually stumbled upon this spot by accident, and it turned out to be an incredibly scenic trail with wide open plains to view the rocky Oregon coast. We had originally intended to stop here just to jump out for a quick photo, but we ended up continuing up the path when we kept spotting great view points further up along the trail. Before we knew it, we had walked all the way out to the point!

On your way there, you'll see signs  indicating the parking lot on the west side of the highway. When we visited, there were lots of colorful wildflowers all over the hills and along the trails ranging across the entire color spectrum.

There isn't one specific route we followed, as there were lots of forks in the trail splitting off in different directions. We meandered around the area marveling at the different rock formations and expansive views up and down the coast. Cape Ferrelo is a great spot to truly soak in the grandness of the coast, as you can spot the infinite rocks littering the sea to your south, as well as tall, pointed rock spires jutting straight out of the sea to the north.

On the tip of the cape. Love the ocean lines in the water!

On the tip of the cape. Love the ocean lines in the water!


Although this is a relatively small park, there are so many more trails and spots to explore. After spending several days here, I can easily say this is my favorite stretch of the Pacific Coast that I've seen. Seeing views like these always reminds me how powerful the ocean is and how rugged and beautiful our coasts can be.

Some of the beautiful photos in this post are by Feryl Aradillos


Favorite Gear for This Adventure: