After months of exploring locations in and around Coos Bay and North Bend, I thought I had seen almost everything.
Well not quite. A few weeks ago, my family and I were driving up Cape Arago Highway near Sunset Bay when I saw a sign I hadn't noticed before - Yokum Point.
So, we stopped to see what it was. And then we started walking. I had no real idea what to expect, but wow, it was amazing.
Yokum Point is a trail that meanders through the forest to the top of the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It is an overwhelming experience as you move from one of the favorite places to another. And you get it all in about 10 minutes.
To reach Yokum Point and overlook the Pacific, you walk through the deep forest. Being there was almost a little spooky. You walk into the deep forest, where everything is covered is moss, the temperature drops at least 10 degrees and there are little trails shooting off in every direction.
We stayed on the mail trail, which runs about 1.1 miles round trip. The hike is flat and pretty easy. We did have to climb over a few logs, but that just added to the allure.
As we walked through the forest, I kept telling my wife it reminded me of the Twilight movies. With tall pines, many different kinds of plants, flowers and even a few bugs, it was pretty intense.
Within a few minutes, you begin to hear the ocean. It's not visible, but you can hear the waves pound into the cliffs ahead. It takes a little while, but you eventually get to the source of the noise as you reach the first cliff and look out over the ocean below.
I've talked frequently about my love of the ocean, and this was no different. The power of the water, the sound of the waves, the smell of salt in the air always get to me.
As you walk along the top of the cliffs, there are more than a half dozen spots to stop and see the ocean below. One of the first viewpoints also has a walkway down to the beach, although we chose to stay at the top this time.
The highlight of Yokum Point is the final overlook you reach. As you walk up, the scenery takes your breath away. Off in the distance, you have a clear view of the lighthouse and an arch in the rocks. I stood there for quite a while just admiring the view.
When we headed back, we moved back into the forest. A few times we stopped and just sat on logs as the kids played nearby.
One of the highlights isn't nature, but man made. On the way back to the car, I passed a fallen tree with its roots sticking out of the ground. Still covered in dirt, the roots have become home to fairies and gnomes, thanks to the creativity of someone who visited. Guests have left change at the spot, giving a gift to the fairies of the forest.
My children stayed for 10 minutes, looking at the display left behind. Amazingly, at least to me, they didn't tough anything, but they sure enjoyed exploring.
We wandered through the deep forest again before running into the main trail and heading out. One interesting sidenote, as we walked we continually heard a horn or something blowing in the distance. We even discussed whether it might be wales in the water. I have no idea what it was, but the sound was still there when we went back a week later.
Yokum Point is a relatively easy hike. The round trip is just over a mile, and the trail is flat and well-maintained. There were other cars there both times we visited, but we saw almost nobody out there.
To get there, follow the signs from Coos Bay and North Bend to the state parks. Once you pass Charleston on Cape Arago Highway, continue by Bastendorff Beach. Pass the RV park and head up the hill and the sign for Yokum Point and the parking area will be on your right.