3 wild iris walks

It's bloom time on Oregon's southern coast. Here are the prettiest spots to hike, picnic, stay, and play

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  • Purple blooms, like this beauty above Battle Rock Beach in Port Orford, are popping up all along the coast.

    Iris at Battle Rock Beach, Oregon

    John Clark

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Walk 2

Port Orford Heads State Park
What was once the crew quarters for the Port Orford Lifeboat Station is now a museum. Short trails radiate out from the museum's parking area, with bushels of iris on the Cove Trail. Follow it 0.4 miles to a vista point. For views that seem to stretch to Japan, loop back on trails swinging toward the west and north. INFO: From the center of Port Orford, follow signs 1 mile west to Port Orford Heads State Park; 800/551-6949.

Dine out Stumble into the Surf Shack ( $; closed Sun-Mon; 190 Sixth St./U.S. 101, Port Orford; 541/332-0450) in your hiking boots, if you like, for fish tacos prepared by California culinary school grads, followed by crème brûlée.

Walk 3

Cape Sebastian
Follow the path less than 0.25 mile past ceanothus and iris to the view point at the cape's tip. For a workout, continue down the cape's south side ? a 720-foot drop in 1.5 miles and another mile of beach walking to an access point just north of Myers Creek Wayside. INFO: Turn west off U.S. 101 at the Cape Sebastian State Scenic Corridor sign, 5 miles south of Gold Beach; 800/551-6949.

Stay overnight Sea Crest Motel in Port Orford (from $54; 888/332-3040) is bare-bones, but it's clean, cheap, and boasts ocean views from every room. For a dose of eco-luxury, snuggle into WildSpring Guest Habitat (from $226; 866/333-9453), a small Port Orford resort ringed in iris, with hillside cabins above the ocean ? which you can stare at from an open-air spa tub.


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