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Cape Arago

Although one of the lesser known capes on the Oregon Coast, the network of state parks and historical locations in this area makes for a fascinating visit. The Coos Indians used the cape and its surrounding beaches and coves for a variety of purposes. Every summer, a small type of fish called smelt would use the sandy beaches to lay their eggs. The Indians would catch the fish in wicker baskets and would preserve them for later use by smoking them. There was also a bounty of food hidden beneath the sand or encrusting the nearby rocks, including mussels, crabs and chitons. This diversity of food sources also made the cape attractive to marine mammals such as Steller Sea Lions and Harbor Seals, which can be found sunning themselves by the hundreds on the nearby Simpson’s Reef. If beachcombing is more your style, visit the cape’s sandy beach and its excellent tide pools. Or try your luck by fishing from its long, rocky shore.

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