About 6 miles south of Port Orford, the nearly 1,850-acre Humbug Mountain State Park and campground are surrounded by forested hills and dominated by Humbug Mountain.
The campground enjoys some of the warmest weather on the Oregon coast since the surrounding mountains offer protection from cool ocean breezes. The area is popular with hikers, campers, cyclists, and whale watchers. The park is home to deer, elk, squirrels, chipmunks and a variety of birds. Bear, mountain lion (cougar) and bobcats may live or pass through the more remote areas of the park.
At 1,756 ft, Humbug Mountain is one of the tallest mountains in Oregon to rise directly from the ocean. Its slopes feature an old-growth temperate rainforest of Douglas-fir, spruce, grand fir, Oregon myrtle, alder and Western red cedar. The sheltered campground sits at the base of the mountain with Brush Creek flowing near the campsites on its way to the sea.
Humbug was originally known to Native Americans as Me-tus. Later on, it was named Sugarloaf Mountain. In 1851 it began to be called Tichenor's Humbug when an exploring party sent by Capt. Wm Tichenor, founder of Port Orford, got lost and headed north of the port instead of south. Tichenor stated that the name was chosen "to palliate their gross failure." Since that time, Tichenor's Humbug came to be known as Humbug Mountain.
The park offers paths perfect for family walks. If a stroll on the beach is on the activity list, take the short path that leads from the campground to a secluded sandy beach. Several trails pass by bigleaf maples and Oregon myrtle. Look for Port Orford cedar along the Old Highway 101 and Day-use trails. Visitors in the spring and early summer may see the flowers of the Western trillium, tiger lily, Western rhododendron and azalea, fairy bells, false Solomon’s seal, rattlesnake plantain and bleeding heart. The Fern Trail is aptly namedfor the 12 different varieties of ferns you may see, such as Western maidenhair, giant chain, lady and sword ferns.
But the more adventurous may want to try the longer mountain trail. Two trails run from the campground to the mountain's summit, one 1.5 miles long, the other 2 miles. They are part of the much longer Oregon Coast Trail.
Old Hwy 101 Trail and Fern Trail
A part of the 360-mile Oregon Coast Trail, this portion is mostly paved and runs along the north side of the campground and then continues northwest following the coast line. Hikers are treated to magnificent ocean views. A short section near the campground A-loop also is known as the Fern Trail. Limited parking is available at both ends of the trail.
The Humbug Mountain Trail
The Humbug Mountain Trail climbs 1,730 ft to the summit of the mountain. The trailhead is located in a small parking area off Hwy 101 opposite the campground. The trail also is accessible from the campground by a footpath and short tunnel beneath Hwy 101. The trail forks at the 1-mile point and then loops around the mountain summit. The western route features small but spectacular views of the ocean and the eastern route offers coastal mountain range views
The Amphitheater Trail
This trail connects the campground with the Old Hwy 101 Trail and passes the amphitheater where family-oriented programs are held in the summer.
A small section of this trail is the steepest hiking in the park, but don’t give up. The rest of the trail is easier and the scenery is beautiful. As you meander along Brush Creek, look for 100-foot waterfalls cascading down the mountain. Three are visible during the winter. The trail ends at an Oregon myrtle grove, the only one accessible from Hwy 101. This trail is also part of the Oregon Coast Trail.