• Without Walls: Tally Gunstone

    Head to Oregon's secret cliffs for the ultimate Pacific Northwest fall adventure.

    In a world where surfers never share their breaks and SoulCycle-ites clamor for bikes, Tally Gunstone is an anomaly: a Pacific Northwest adventurer who documents her excursions to mountains, oceans, and deserts in gorgeous Instagram snaps—and tells you where to find them. Well, sort of. 

    “Some of the best spots around here get really crowded and it’s unfortunate, so it’s good to be able to find places that aren’t as known,” Tally explains. In an area that’s quickly becoming flooded with urban refugees, this Portland-native graphic designer knows all the ins-and-outs of the trails less traveled. She started posting about these explorations on Instagram, and after many of her 44 thousand followers kept asking her about the locations and how to get to them, her website FindYourOwnAdventures.com was born. 

    “I first started my website because people would always comment on my Instagrams, like, ‘Where is this?’” she recalls, laughing. “I don’t tell people exactly how to get there; instead, I tell them the latitude and longitude and give hints about where it might be. It’s more fun to get people to do a little work on their own to find it.” Trust us, it’s worth it. 

    Just take her recent adventure, when she grabbed her sister Tari (also a photographer) and their friend and kicked off fall in the coolest way possible at Floras Lake State Park. Tally first discovered the secluded location about a year ago on the way back from a road trip to California, and made it her mission to return. “It was pouring down rain, but we stopped and walked down to these cliffs and it was absolutely incredible,” she remembers. “If it was that pretty when we were soaked and freezing, then I knew it’d be amazing when it’s nice out.” 

    So the trio packed up and found a spot amidst the massive cliffs. They spent their days hiking along the coastline and weaving through caves and waterfalls, with no sign of human life outside their group all weekend long. “A secluded location is the best location,” she says, and this one definitely fit the bill. “We would wake up at sunrise to try to get a photo, hike all day, and then head back by sunset so try to get another shot,” she remembers. “But no matter how hard you try, it’s impossible to really capture how awesome it is.” No, not even an Instagram filter can do that. 

    She won’t tell you exactly how to get there, but find out everything else you need to know about Tally’s southern Oregon trip below.

    Where To Go: Tally and her friends brought equipment to camp near the cliffs in the Floras Lake State Park. “You can hike along the Oregon Coast Trail, which extends along the entire state coast,” she explains. “Near where we were camping, people went kiteboarding and lake surfing there, instead of on the ocean. It’s great to watch people do it and even try it yourself.” 

    How To Get There: Located about a five hour drive south from Portland, Floras Lake State Park is right off Oregon Coast highway 101 on the Southern Oregon coast. Tally says the longer drive makes it a great long weekend destination. “Since it’s several hours from Portland, it’s not the easiest place to get to. I’d save it for a three-day weekend.” 

    Where To Camp: There are two camping areas located near the entrance of the park—Boice Cope Park (which is within Floras Lake State Park) and a KOA campground just two miles south, so that’s an option if you don’t have the equipment to backpack all the way in (it’s a couple of miles). If you’d like to pack more into your trip, rent a cabin in Cape Blanco State Park. “I stayed in one of the cabins once—it’s super cute,” says Tally. “There’s a lighthouse there too, which is rad.” 

    What To Do: Spend your days hiking, wandering down the cliffs, meandering through the caves and waterfalls…just don’t expect to encounter other people. And yes, that’s a good thing. “The expansive coastline makes you feel like you are not in Oregon but on the edge of Scotland,” Tally recalls. “The cliffs that we woke up staring at were so amazing. It was cool to see the sunsets and explore around, and there are tons of trails in the woods and down the coasts.” 

    What To Pack: Don’t forget the basic necessities, like extra food and loads of water. “For a long weekend, you don’t realize how much water you need for drinking and cooking, too. We were running a little low as we finished the trip,” Tally remembers. Also, throw in an extra blanket and a warm sleeping bag—it gets chilly at night. 

    Photos by Tally Gunstone and Tari Gunstone