Gold Beach Oregon is located by the mouth of the mighty Rogue River, where it meets the ocean. Gold Beach stretches back more than a millennium. It's history is the story of several Native American cultures, Spanish explorers, pioneers, European fur trappers, miners, settlers, ranchers, loggers, commercial fishermen, and mill workers who built a nice life for themselves in this coastal paradise.
The climate here is very mild for the Oregon coast. 3/4 of the days in the winter time are as warm as the average of summer days. The nights are cool. Enjoy the outdoors in all of the seasons here at Gold Beach.
This beautiful area has an abundance of recreational activities. Explore the mountains, beaches, wildlife, campgrounds, fishing, kayaking, windsurfing, wilderness mountain hiking or biking and much more!
From inland, traveling westward, the Rogue River travels through Grants Pass, Galice and other towns and ends up here at Gold Beach. The Rogue River is a rafters paradise for excitement and nature watching. But be careful, parts of this wild river are very dangerous to raft. Please check with an experienced river guide before proceeding. This area is famous for it's Steelhead fishing, and there are plenty of fishing guides available.
The early story of Gold Beach is a weaving of Native American cultures and wars, Spanish explorers and European fur trappers, ranchers, gold miners, loggers, fishermen, mill workers and town folk - all building a special kind of life in an amazing place that´s never lost its natural allure. Gold!
The history of the area that has most influenced the Gold Beach you see today began in the mid-1800´s. In 1853, a short time after gold was discovered in California, the shiny stuff was found in the beach sand near the mouth of the Rogue River. Gold Beach was born, and established fast. Originally given the name of Ellensburg, in 1858 the town became the county seat of the newly formed Curry County. But everyone called it Gold Beach.
Prospectors poured into the area and set up their sluice boxes, and soon a number of small enterprises sprang up around them, with people making a living on salmon, logging, tanning and simply keeping all those folks stocked with food and dry goods. Copper and other minerals were also mined and at one point there was even a jade mine above Agate Beach. None of the mines ever amounted to much, compared to the gold fields elsewhere, but there are still a few gold mining operations in the upriver area and gold can still be panned on the beach.
The prospectors are long gone, but many small outposts on the Rogue still ply goods to a different kind of fortune hunter - the angler.
Hard to imagine, but in the late nineteenth century it wasn´t known that salmon would take a hook and line; for years salmon was heavily harvested with seine and gill nets. In 1876, Robert D. Hume established a canning operation and very quickly came to dominate the industry locally. In 1878 he built the first fish hatchery in the area at Hatchery Gulch just south of Indian Creek.
In 1896, a Mr. Frank was fishing for trout near the mouth of the Rogue River using a fly rod and small spinner. To his and everyone else´s surprise he reeled in an 18-pound salmon, and Rogue River sport fishing was born.
Salmon has played an important role in contributing to the local economy since. As gold mining, fur trapping and the lumber industries declined in importance locally, each forced a large number of people to leave the area in search of work. After 1908, commercial fishing on the Rogue expanded rapidly and the salmon fishery was largely depleted in a very short time; in 1935 commercial fishing on the Rogue was ended by state legislation. Since then sport fishing has taken off and a number of enthusiasts have formed organizations to protect and increase the salmon population not only in the Rogue, but also in other coastal rivers up and down the state. Today the salmon, steelhead, trout and other sport fish draw enthusiasts from around the country to this small town.
Native rhododendrons, Lupine and Tigerlily paint the hills, while Red Alder and Big Leaf Maple shoot green life into the crisp blue coastal skies. Energy is abound - the forest is alive! The Spring Chinook Salmon begin their journey up the Rogue River, fawns are emerging at the forest edge and wild mountain sheep are spotted scaling the cliffs of our coastal trails.
Warm sunny days with lush cliffs of green plunge into waters of teal and blue with an occasional veil of coastal fog moving in and out. Summer activities include: white water rafting, picking of wild Himalayan Blackberries, superb weather for fishing and gardening, incredible river pools for swimming, wilderness hiking and camping, claming, beachcombing, tide-pooling and more.
The dramatic scenery of maples beginning to turn red and yellow makes for fabulous scenic driving or hiking as autumn lands. Salmon are spawning and fireplaces are being lit, while sprinkling rain renews the green moss and mushrooms on the forest floor.
Waterfalls are abundant in the many fern-laden valleys and are most spectacular after heavy rainstorms. The clear skies that follow make for pleasant walks along the shore to hunt for agates left by the crashing winter waves or lazy basking in the soft winter rays while listening to the distant barking of sea lions.