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Cape Lookout State Park

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General Information

A family enjoys the ocean campground
Copyright: - Oregon State Parks
A family enjoys the ocean campground
Description - Cape Lookout State Park can be reached by traveling an hour and a half west of Portland through the scenic Wilson River pass. Along the way, stop and enjoy waterfalls, scenic views and some great fishing. A popular campground and day-use area, Cape Lookout is located on a sand spit between Netarts Bay and the ocean, giving you a terrific view of the ocean with easy access to the beach.

Attractions - A popular campground and day-use area, Cape Lookout is located on a sand spit between Netarts Bay and the ocean, giving you a terrific view of the ocean with easy access to the beach. Beachcombing is popular here, and the park is reputedly a good place to find glass floats. More than eight miles of hiking and walking trails wind through a lush old-growth forest. The Cape Lookout trail follows the headland for more than 2 miles. A bench is located at the end of the trail. Enjoy the view! You might see a whale or two and along with other wildlife.

Two walking trails -- a nature trail and the Jackson Creek trail -- are perfect for a shorter jaunt. The nature trail gives you a close-up view of native trees and other plants. Numbered markers are keyed to a trail guide. The Jackson Creek trail starts with an interpretive panel describing the local salmon restoration project.

Be sure to look up when you visit this park ... hang gliders and paragliders fill the air with colorful wings as they catch thermals and rise to dizzying heights. Along with Cape Kiwanda and Cape Meares, Lookout is part of the Three Capes Scenic Route.

Vital stats: A small day-use fee or an annual parks pass are required for day-use of the park. The park offers 38 full hookup campsites, 2 electric sites, 176 tent sites (maximum site 60 feet); 4 yurts; 4 group tent areas; and a hiker/biker camp. For information only, call 503-842-4981 or 800-551-6949. To make reservations, call 1-800-452-5687.

Recreation - Cape Lookout State Park provides beach access and offers RV and tent camping, picnicking, hiking, fishing, interpretive trails, interpretive tours, marine wildlife viewing, bird watching and viewing of coastal scenery.

Climate - The Oregon coast receives abundant rainfall, mostly between October and April. July and August bring the best chance for clear days. Summer temperatures are normally moderate and almost never hot. Winter temperatures are normally cool at the lower elevations and cold at the higher elevations. Although snow is possible in the lowest elevations, it is infrequent and does not stay on the ground for long.

Location - The park is located off U.S. Highway 101, 12 miles southwest of Tillamook. Cape Lookout State Park can be reached by traveling an hour and a half west of Portland through the scenic Wilson River pass.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
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Filed By: Dave (Portland, OR)
Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: We make frequent day trips to the northern Oregon coast to walk the beaches. A recent early November trip to Cape Lookout was our first, although we had been past the entrance on the Three Capes Loop drive many times. A pleasant off-season surprise. The beach was our destination, not the longer trails up and across the cape ridge to the "lookout" point, but we figure to go back for that trek properly outfitted in more reliable weather. An unusually sunny, pleasant day for this November made our beach walk a real pleasure. Very few people, almost no tracks in the sand. The tide was in, narrowing the strip of sand somewhat. The tide didn't cut the walking space off completely that day, but it seems possible. A few modest rivulets to cross, but plenty of stepping stones for those squeamish about wet feet. Steep sandy banks behind the beach essentially confine beach walking to the beach, especially since the dunes have restricted access due to restoration efforts. We also walked through the camp area, which we found only a quarter occupied. Nice sites, with a good range from sunny to tree sheltered. Thirteen "yurts" provide an option to tent or RV camping, and they looked quite comfortable, with furniture, locking doors, and pleasant front porches. Reservations for the yurts are necessary, and I would choose one with a higher number (42-52) as they are farthest from the entry road traffic noise and within audible range of the ocean (the water isn't visible from any of the campsites, but is only a short walk away). Judging from the size of the parking lot, I'd say that this park could get pretty crowded and lose some of its charm during the summer, but it is open year round and any sunny day after Labor Day is worth a day trip.

More Information

Contact Information:
Oregon Parks & Recreation Department, 1115 Commercial Street NE , Salem, OR, 97301-1002, Phone: 503-842-4981

Additional Information:
Central Coast - The Central Coast reaches from Tillamook Bay, south to the Umpqua River and the town of Reedsport. The terrain varies from huge monoliths standing off the coast, to sand dunes of 40 miles in length and more than 550 feet tall.
North Coast - The North Coast stretches from the Washington border south to Tillamook Bay. This beautiful stretch of coastline is easily accessible from the Portland area.
Oregon State Parks - Oregon's State Parks offer beautiful settings for outdoor recreation activities including camping, yurt or cabin stays, hiking, biking, picnicking, fishing boating, wildlife viewing and much more.

Campground Reservations - Reserve your campground online here with reserveamerica.com
Cape Lookout State Park - Official agency website.


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