Category: Landmark Place
GPS Coordinates to Face Rock Scenic Viewpoint: 43.106775, -124.434838
As you travel along the Oregon Coast, you may frequently encounter legends from Native Americans and European or American pioneers. One of the most famous on the South Coast is that of Face Rock, a curious-looking outcrop of basalt which rises from the waves near the south end of Bandon. When observed from shore, the rock resembles a human profile with the head tipped back toward the sky.
The Coquilles, the Native Americans who historically lived in the area, have a fascinating legend which explains the rock’s outline:
On her first visit to the ocean, a young princess was captured by a powerful sea-god called Seatco. The god wanted to marry the princess but she was defiant. Refusing to look at him, the princess turned her face toward the moon overhead. In a rage, Seatco transformed the maiden into stone. The profile of her face, still looking heavenward, was captured forever in the outline of the rock. Some versions of the tale claim Seatco also fossilized the maiden’s pets, which are described either as baby raccoons or domesticated kittens. Immediately to the northwest of Face Rock is a string of smaller islands called Cat and Kittens Rocks, which in some versions of the story are said to represent these pets.