Simpsons Reef is a part of the Cape Arago State Park located along the Arago Highway south of fishing village Charleston and the city of Coos Bay on the Southern Oregon Coast.
The rocks along the shores of Cape Arago State Park and Simpson’s Reef are part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge. Wildlife abound on Shell Island. Steller Sea Lions (also known as northern sea lions) and Harbor Seals hang out at Simpsons Reef year around.Harbor Seals give birth to their pups on the inner rocks of Simpson’s Reef in April and May. The Northern Elephant Seal spend most of their time out at sea. Coming in to the Pacific Coasts rocky shores only to breed and molt. Shell Island is their northernmost Pacific Coast breeding site. California Sea Lion males hang out at Simpsons Reef in late summer and fall.
Migrating whales (mostly Gray Whales) migrate past Simpsons Reef March through June on their way to Alaska. In December whales migrate past Simpsons Reef on their way south to the Baja breeding lagoons.
In the above photograph wildlife abound on Shell Island. Waves crash on the nearby rocky outcrop. We observe seals, sea lions, shore birds and herons on Shell Island and other nearby outcroppings of rock at Simpsons Reef. Boaters linger by Shell Island observing the abundant wildlife.
A pull off from the Arago Highway offers this view of Simpsons Reef, complete with a telescope for observing.
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