Bandon is a small coastal town on the southern Oregon coast. Well-known for its scenic beauty, photographers and nature enthusiasts alike enjoy its dramatic coastline, which is reputed to have some of the most striking beaches in the entire Northwest. Filled with coastal rocks, islands, and rocky outcroppings or “sea stacks” sprinkled throughout the landscape; Oregon photography opportunities are not only endless, but impressive. A few of the notable formations in the area are Face Rock, Haystack Rock, Coquille Rocks, Elephant Rock, and Table Rock. Face Rock is one of the most photographed monolithic formations in the area. As the name implies, you can make out the profile of an uplifted face from the sea. Visitors can easily find Face Rock by driving along Beach Loop Drive and parking at the Face Rock Viewpoint with access down to the coastline.
Face Rock makes for an excellent starting point as you can walk either North or South and find yourself among remarkable sea stack formations, tide pools, sea caves, and expansive views of the ocean and sandy beach. Plan on photographing at low tide as tide pools will unveil themselves, patterns in the sand will be revealed, and you can get close and personal with many of the sea stack formations. Sunset photos from Bandon are notable due to the depth of interesting formations you can capture in one shot with a wide angle lens –from a rocky pool before you all the way to sea stacks on the far horizon.
The historic Coquille River Lighthouse at the mouth of the Coquille River is located in Bullards Beach State Park which is two miles north of Bandon. The lighthouse was originally built to serve not only as a coastal light but also as a harbor light because a bar at the mouth of the Coquille River made a treacherous obstacle for ships entering the river. The surrounding beach, as well as the lighthouse itself, is open to the public which can be reached by the beach access road in the park. With 4.5 miles of open beach to explore, recreational and sight-seeing opportunities are endless. Also, on the other side of the river is the Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, sporting a variety of resident and migrating wildlife.
Across the river is the quaint Bandon by the Sea. With a variety of shops, galleries, and restaurants in the town that is called “The Cranberry Capitol of the World,” as well as the “The Storm Watching Capitol of the World.” Interestingly, cranberries have been grown in Bandon since 1885, making Bandon a center of cranberry production in the Pacific Northwest. More than 100 growers harvest about 1,600 acres around Bandon, raising 95 percent of Oregon’s cranberries, and approximately 5% of the national crop. Peak harvest season is a popular time to visit Bandon for photography. While the town of Bandon offers fine lodging and dining, the Bullards Beach State park has year-round camping with tent and RV sites, as well as 13 yurts nestled among shore pines. The horse camp features easy access to the beach and dunes for our equestrian campers. Surrounded by grassy fields, sandy dunes, equestrian trails, and the Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, the area is popular with equestrian campers, hikers, bird watchers, mountain bikers, fisherman, and photographers.
Bandon is a top destination in Oregon for photography. With classic coastal imagery including numerous rock formations, bountiful tide pools, crashing waves, and silvery sand, it offers the essential subject matter for photographers to create remarkable shots. Adding to the photographic opportunity is the diversity that the surrounding area provides –from the Coquille River Lighthouse to Bullards Beach State Park –count on an abundance of photos and memorable experiences.
For more pictures from Bandon Oregon, visit www.oregonfoto.com.
Oregon Foto Guide features the landscape photography of Michael Skourtes, Portland Oregon photographer and avid outdoorsman. I venture throughout the state searching for the top destinations for Oregon hiking, backpacking, camping, and photography. I share my experiences and photography of Oregon on my guide. I encourage you to explore Oregon and make your own outdoor adventure.
For picture galleries featuring Oregon photography, or to contact me, visit www.oregonfoto.com.