DISTANCE: 111 miles with boat shuttle to Winchester Bay (100.1 miles with Coos Bay boat shuttle)*
ELEVATION GAIN: +2640 feet
HEADLAND SUMMITS: Coos Head (165 feet), Seven Devils (540 feet) Blacklock Point (184 feet), Cape Blanco (240 feet)
It requires long days for inn-to-inn hikers but offers a lot of dispersed camping options for backpackers and no highway shoulder walking once you return to the beach south of Florence. This section begins at Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area—a vast area of wild and undeveloped sand dunes stretching south to Coos Bay. Immediately south of Coos Bay is a rugged coastline of sheer cliffs known as the Seven Devils that must be skirted on back roads. Then you hit the charming town of Bandon and the long, remote beach to the south, followed by wild Blacklock Point and Cape Blanco, the westernmost point on the Oregon Coast.
Be aware that you may encounter (or at least hear) OHVs on parts of the beach adjacent to Oregon Dunes, particularly north of the Siltcoos River and between Winchester Bay and your beach exit north of Coos Bay. They mostly stick to the sand dunes, however, and not the beach. You also need to be aware of regulations protecting snowy plovers: mainly, avoid camping in known plover nesting areas, which are typically well signed.
*Due to various in the route, everyone counts mileage on the OCT a little differently. This is the number I came up with for my guidebook Hiking the Oregon Coast Trail. It may differ a little from figures you find elsewhere.
As of September 2021
No trail closures I know of.
YOU SHOULD KNOW ...
CROSSING THE UMPQUA RIVER: Definitely call ahead to get a ride from Winchester Bay Charters (or take your chances flagging down a passing boater). Note that they may not be able to accommodate your schedule; be prepared to adjust to their schedule. (These are great people trying to run a small business on the coast in a pandemic; be kind.) The alternative is to leave the beach at Beach Access 116 for a 12.3-mile slog on gravel Sparrow Park Road and the shoulder of US 101. Not fun.
CROSSING COOS BAY: Winchester Bay Charters may be able to help you find an outfitter there to take you across Coos Bay, but charter boat operators in Charleston generally aren't familiar with the OCT or aware of hikers' needs (their focus is on fishing), so don't count on it. Note that the 4-mile crossing will be more expensive than most (shorter) boat ferries on the OCT.