Rocky Point

Redfish Rocks… Marine Reserve and Marine Protected Area

Shortly after arriving in Port Orford for our 3rd consecutive summer, Jeff and I start looking for volunteer opportunities in the community. On the local radio station I hear about the need for interpretive rangers, a volunteer position to provide awareness and information about the 2.7 square mile Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve and the Marine Protected Area that extends another 5 square miles beyond. On May 31st I attend the first training session. (But I will share the rest of this story in a future post…)

Today Jeff and I just want to check out the beach along the Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve. According to the map, the Reserve extends between Rocky Point to the north and Coal Point to the south.


We drive south on 101 past Battle Rock Beach and look for an unmarked road that takes a jack knife turn down to a trailhead.

Below is a picture taken from the small parking area showing the road leading back up to the highway.

The trailhead down to the beach explains the no fishing restrictions. Clamming, however is permitted above the low tide line, as is beachcombing.

Before taking the trail down to the beach, however, we notice another trail across the guard rail in the parking area. So we explore this first.

This path turns out to be a scenic spur overlooking Rocky Point.

We’ve arrive at low tide. Notice how far the rocks extend beyond the sandy beach… In the distance some of the rocks of the Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve are visible through the haze.

I take a picture looking north toward Hubbard Creek and Battle Rock Beach.

To the south is Coal Point and Humbug Mountain.

We turn around and head back to the trailhead after deciding not to climb down to the beach from this cliff wearing our old sneakers.

And now we walk down to beach on the proper trail…

Can you see the red spot in the center of the photo below?

Here it is close up a few seconds later…

Another short jaunt…

And the ocean appears…

But to get to the beach, aptly named rocky, we have to climb over driftwood.

As we make our way through the driftwood jungle, I stop and take a picture of the Redfish Rocks.

We descend onto the rocky shoreline and discover tidal pools.

The tide has been out for awhile and there is no interesting sealife to observe.

The rocks reach way out to the sea.

And greet us every step of the way.

We head south and arrive at a l-o-o-o-o-o-ng piece of driftwood.  There’s Jeff standing at the far end.

And here is a view of the same long piece of driftwood taken from the scenic spur above.

As we continue walking south along the shoreline, the rocks on the beach get larger.

And the cliffs overhead show the uplifted stratified rock caused by the lifting of tectonic plates.

Below the cliffs, the shoreline rocks erode into grooves creating highways leading to the sea.

Meanwhile we continue heading south scrambling through the rocks and stepping over tidal pools.

Then I spy a long piece of bull kelp draped dramatically around some larger rocks.

Some powerful waves must have pushed this piece of driftwood ashore.

In the haze, Highway 101 runs across the top of the cliff.

Suddenly a waterfall appears.

And it gurgles its way to the sea.

We turn around and walk back, discovering works of art created by Mother Nature. Checkout this mixed-texture collage below…

Sand collects under crevices in the rocks while seaweed, fresh and old, sunbathes over a piece of driftwood. The yellowed kelp reminds me of a tattered garment.

I can’t think of an appropriate title to name it. Maybe you have one?

The artwork below is titled Kingdom of Cousin Itt.

The fog is lifting and you can see the 6 rocks of the Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve. Usually only 5 are visible.

Below, Highway 101 cuts through the cliffs. It’s still quite hazy to the north. This stretch of the shoreline is less rocky.

But notice the large boulders covered with green lichen on the left side of the photo.

As we pass, I take a close-up shot of the limpet shells and barnacles attached like glue inside the crease of the rock.

And here’s the same picture a few feet away…

We are almost back to the driftwood jungle leading up to the trailhead. I get a good close-up of the Redfish Rocks and the low tide line.

This looks like the spot we need to climb through to reach the trail.

As I stand tall on a pile of driftwood, I take 2 more pictures.

Looking north…

And looking south…

On the far right you can see 2 of the 6 Redfish Rocks.


We return 5 days later to View Rocky Point during high tide.

Here are my photos comparing Rocky Point during low tide and high tide…


Low tide

High tide


Low tide

High tide


Low tide

High tide

…pretty amazing!

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