Cape Sebastian and Vicinity

When Spanish explorer Sebastián Vizcaíno sighted this massive headland in 1603, he was just about to turn around and sail back to Mexico. A seasoned mariner and soldier, he had spent over a year sailing the west coast of North America and was looking forward to returning home. Whether intended or not, Vizcaíno’s tour of the northern coast of California and southern coast of Oregon had little to do with exploration. Historians seem to agree that his 1602-03 expedition discovered virtually nothing new but did produce more accurate charts of the coastline. Many of the areas he visited still bear the names he gave them – San Diego, Santa Barbara, Santa Catalina Island, Monterey and, yes, Cape Sebastian. (The explorer named the headland after a Catholic saint, not himself.) At 720 feet (219 m) high, Cape Sebastian has been both a beacon and a nightmare for travelers. For those voyaging by sea, it (along with Humbug Mountain just north) presented a helpful landmark. For those traveling overland, however, it was a massive obstacle which needed to be skirted or climbed.

  • Orca Reporting

    Category: General Article

    Scientists are trying to learn more about Orcas who reside in Oregon waters. Learn how you can help spot these coastal predators and aid with the research.

  • Voices in the Darkness

    Category: Fun Fact

    When a caretaker heard voices rising out of the darkness beneath Cape Sebastian in 1942, he had no idea he was eavesdropping on the crew of a Japanese submarine on a top-secret mission to destroy Oregon's coastal forests.

  • Meyers Creek Beach

    Category: General Article

    Although a small wayside, Meyers Creek Beach has some amazing sea stacks sitting just offshore and carved into exotic shapes through the incessant power of wind and waves.

  • On A Mission To Save A Butterfly

    Category: General Article

    A group of teens from Pennsylvania travel to Oregon on a mission to help save a critically endangered butterfly.