Mile 120 Dispatch

January 11, 2020
by alaingamerica

Sunset Bay, Qochyax Island
Saturday 11:00 AM
Party cloudy
46° F
Calm/Light from the NW
Tide Level:
8.5 ft
Humans / Pets:
Activity Comments:
Sunset Bay was overwhelmed by visitors presumably drawn by the "High Surf" warnings on their weather apps or, I suspect, by awareness of the "King Tide" phenomenon. I observed 5 surfboards in the water, with several vehicles sporting kayaks and surfboards strapped to racks on the tops of their vehicles. While there, parks was making an effort to close off the area to new visitors and urging all others to vacate. Later on, their was significant traffic snarls due to the heavy visitation.
Notable Wildlife:
Dead Birds:
Fish & Invertebrates:
New Development:
Natural Changes:

Sunset Bay State Park day use area took heavy damage from the King Tide. (The event is not yet over and with heavy rains today {01/12/20} I wouldn't be surprise if it gets worse. I will be paying attention to how Parks deals these new challenges. Mile 119 recieved the heaviest visitation. I believe it is a safer place to be during an extra high tide, but it could not adequately deal with the enormous numbers yesterday, and that had an impact on every other mile on the Cape.


Sunset Bay was overwhelmed by visitors presumably drawn by the "High Surf" warnings on their weather apps or, I suspect, by awareness of the "King Tide" phenomenon. Sunset Bay State Park day use area took heavy damage from the King Tide. I have to question the intelligence of those wanting to put their surfboards in on such a day. Most people were trying to get into Shore Acres, but the entire Cape was recieving well above usage. 

  • day use parking area damage
    broken pavement thrown up into parking area.
    Southern margin of main day use parking area
    January 11, 2020
  • Broken sidewalk
    Despite obvious storm damage, visitors were received in substantial numbers
    Primary Day Use parking area
    January 11, 2020
  • Surfers drawn to King Tide?
    I have to wonder about the intelligence of people wanting to surf on such a day.
    Southern portion of Sunset Bay
    January 11, 2020
  • Flooded Parking area
    As well as high tide flooding the parking area behind the restrooms, you can see the traffic backing up on the highway.
    Northern Day Use Parking area
    January 11, 2020
  • Surfing with the driftwood
    Why would you want to surf when the sea is also tossing around large and numerous driftwood?
    Sourthern Sunset Bay
    January 11, 2020
  • Money Shot
    I guess certain people will do anything to try for that "Money Shot"
    Southern Sunset Bay
    January 11, 2020
  • Creek Feeding Sunset Bay
    The creek feeding Sunset Bay was flowing upstream as it received the higher waters of Sunset Bay
    The Southern edge of Sunset Bay
    January 11, 2020
Other Mile 120 Reports (19)


September 4, 2022 - [email protected]
Very busy "day at the beach"--not surprising for Sunday of Labor Day Weekend; what did surprise me was the relatively low number of out-of-state license plates.
June 17, 2022 - [email protected]


October 6, 2018 - ronnijenni22
A lot of people have a good time on the beach...
August 4, 2018 - ronnijenni22
May 20, 2018 - ronnijenni22
A nice day at the beach. Lots of activity.


January 21, 2017 - JohnnyCN
This area appeared to me to have been somewhat laid to waste by high waves along with rain which flooded the parking lots and, of course, the beach.  There were driftwood, rocks, high water and ...
January 11, 2017 - [email protected]
There's a lot of erosion at Sunset Bay beach.  The waves are crashing against the riprap in front of the parking lot at the beach, and where unprotected, the asphalt parking lot is being undermined....


December 13, 2016 - [email protected]
King Tide observation at Sunset Beach.Seawater upto rock breakwater at beach.  Water has not reached the cement walk in front of the bathrooms.Tidewater covering lower portion of the beach boat ramp.


June 17, 2012 - LouiseW
This is the beach report for SCUUF. Five of us walked the mile. A high use beach with 121 people and nine dogs (80 walking, 5 playing in surf, 4 playing in sand, 4 sitting, 5 tidepooling, 2 surfing...
March 11, 2012 - LouiseW
This report is being filed for South Coast Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (SCUUF), who have adopted this mile. Two of us walked the mile. It was a windy day with threatening rain. We picked up...


November 20, 2011 - LouiseW
Four of us from the UU Congregation did the walk today. Animal casings, kelp/algae, plastic pellets and very little trash in the driftline. Four Western Grebe and gulls. Thirty people walking (26),...
June 21, 2011 - SCUUFmile
Heavily used beach and picnic area with 300 people, walking, playing in the surf and sand, sitting, photographing, rockhunting, tidepooling, surfing, kayaking fishing and paddleboarding but no one on...
May 22, 2011 - SCUUFmile
Typical nice day in May for one of the most special places on Oregon coast (Sunset Bay). Pileated Woodpecker, Wren Tits, Winter Wren, Song Sparrow were seen on the mile. About 65 people walking on...
February 13, 2011 - wowunupo
A very light driftline. Twenty people on the beach walking and taking photographs. Four dogs. No notable wildlife.


December 5, 2010 - wowunupo
This is the first official mile report from the South Coast Unitarian-Universalists since we gave up mile 128 and switched to mile 120. On mile 128, we were able to walk the entire one mile on the...


January 13, 2008 - yogabigail
A beautiful sunny day where everyone was safely enjoying the coast! Kelp,shells, small rocks, wood pieces and land-based debris in driftline. Shorebirds moving in response to dogs. Geese in the air...


September 17, 2007 - yogabigail
People out enjoying the beach with their pets and kids. A beautiful day and everyone had a happy grin breathing this fresh air and soaking up the sunshine. The walkway along the road is much more...
June 28, 2007 - yogabigail
Looked good and people were really having a great time playing frisbee, jogging and swiming. Everyone looked respectful of our beautiful shoreline. We all had smiles on our faces, and the 2 dogs we...
January 21, 2007 - yogabigail
Kelp/algae, shells, animal casings, eel grass and small rocks in driftline. Canadian Geese swimming in Sunset Bay, Western Gulls on shore. Landslide on side of bay. Tidal surge deposited stones on...
  • Cape Arago Lighthouse as viewed from the south.
  • These climbers were violating Park rules by climbing on the cliff face and using a hammer to make holds.
  • This picture shows a new landslide on the south side of Sunset Bay.  Also shown is a kayaker on the bay.