Portland Wilderness

Three Arch Rocks Wilderness
Gorp.com


Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge, the first wildlife refuge established west of the Mississippi River, consists of a group of wildly arched islands two miles south of and visible from Cape Meares National Wildlife Refuge (on a headland off Tillamook Bay). These rocky points shelter one of the most populous bird colonies on the continent during nesting

Season: 200,000 common murres, 2,000 to 4,000 tufted puffins, guillemots, petrels, Brandt's cormorants, and pelagic cormorants. While harbor seals and a large herd of northern sea lions haul out here, the refuge is off-limits to humans except via special permits granted for scientific work. But observation points onshore allow you to observe the birds. According to the Guide to the National Wildlife Refuges, you'll get your best view"from a pleasant motel on a hill just beside Oceanside where the proprietors seem to enjoy having birdwatching visitors." Bring a spotting scope.


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