Wildlife Viewing Sites

Simpson Reef

On the southern Oregon coast there are numerous opportunities for viewing wildlife. The more significant sites where SEA wildlife interpreters assist the public are at the Simpson Reef Overlook, at the end of Cape Arago Highway, near Charleston OR, and Face Rock Wayside or Coquille Point, in Bandon, OR.

Simpson Reef & Shell Island – California sea lions, harbor seals, Steller sea lions, and elephant seals congregate at mid-to-low tide to rest in the sun and avoid predators. Harbor seals and elephant seals breed there. You can listen to these pinnipeds talking and if you’re lucky, catch a pod of orcas passing by. At this time, in 2022, SEA wildlife interpreters will be at Simpson Reef Overlook from 10am to noon, on the following days: June 18-19, July 2, 3, 4, July 16-17, July 30-31, Aug 13-14, Aug 27-28, Sept 3, 4, 5. The Simpson Reef Overlook parking lot about one mile south of the entrance to Shore Acres State Park on the Cape Arago Highway.

Face Rock, Elephant Rock, Table Rock – These rocks are extremely important for nesting seabirds. Brandt’s cormorants, double-crested cormorants, pelagic cormorants, common murres, pigeon guillemots, tufted puffins, black oystercatchers, and the ever-present western gulls are among the species that are present by the thousands. At this time in 2022, SEA wildlife interpreters will be at the Face Rock Wayside, in Bandon, from 10am to noon, on the following days: Jun 18-19, Jun 25-26, July 2-3, July 9-10, July 16-17, July 23-24, July 30.

Intertidal Zone – Opportunities for exploring tide pools exist at Face Rock Wayside and Coquille Point in Bandon, Sunset Bay near Charleston, and other nearby locations. The best opportunities for viewing intertidal wildlife are in the spring and summer when tides are at least a minus one foot tide. Please refer to our tide pool page for more information.

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