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Cape Lookout State Park
Published: 06/22/2014
Cape Lookout is a 2000-acre park with over eight miles of hiking trails and beaches.
Cape Lookout is a 2000-acre park with over eight miles of hiking trails and beaches.
Photo by Gary Hayes

Reaching this scenic park, nestled near Netarts Bay along the Three Capes Scenic Route, is about the journey as much as the destination.

It's one of the gems to discover for coastal travelers who make the side trip off US 101 and follow the Three Capes Scenic Route between Tillamook and Pacific City. Cape Lookout is the middle of the three capes that give this scenic byway its name and Cape Lookout State Park features 2,000 acres with an endless variety of outdoor diversions including wildlife viewing and hiking opportunities that will will take you a mile out along the cape's rock promontory.

The park's sprawling ocean vistas showcase Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City's Haystack Rock to the south and Three Arch Rocks to the north, but there's much more to explore. Set out along the Cape Lookout Trail, a two-and-a-half-mile stretch that offers dramatic, breathtaking views. Six additional miles of trail wind through old-growth Sitka spruce forest so pristine you'll wonder if you've stepped an eon or two back in time. Those in search of a shorter tour will enjoy a walk along the park's nature trail.

Don't forget to reserve a little time for beachcombing. In recent years, beachcombers have hit pay dirt at Cape Lookout, happening upon everything from glass floats to messages in bottles. And if you're looking for a less tethered view of this captivating coastal playground, check into options for hang gliding and paragliding.

Cape Lookout State Park is a day-use fee park for those without an Oregon State Parks pass or Oregon Pacific Coast Passport. A large campground steps from the beach includes more than 170 tent sites, 35 full hook-ups, 13 yurts and six cabins.

Cape Lookout State Park is located 13 miles southwest of Tillamook, and about 12.5 miles north of Pacific City.  - By Erin Bernard

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