The first viewpoint is of Simpson Reef and Shell Island, a large collection of offshore rocks populated by several species of sea lions, seals and other wildlife, and at low tide part of an extensive area of terraces and ridges. All are part of Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge, and are not open for exploration. South of here, the road passes through a patch of woodland and ends in a loop, with three places for parking. At the first, a short path (closed March to June to protect seal pups) leads to a viewpoint of North Cove to the east and some exposed rocks by the water's edge to the west. A narrower path branches off and descends to the sandy/stony beach, which often contains quite a lot of driftwood and fallen trees, while the rocks can be explored by climbing down beyond the viewpoint. The second parking lot is close to Middle Cove, the prettiest of the three beaches; this has a greater number of exposed rocks including several tiny islands with vegetation, and is separated from South Cove by a narrow, wooded ridge (Drake Point). The final parking area is back in the coastal forest, and from here a slightly longer path zig-zags 120 feet down to South Cove, a generally less photogenic location since there are fewer rocks out to sea, though still plenty of tide pools.