Cape Lookout Trail

Cape Lookout State Park, Oregon

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Cape Lookout Trail is a hiking trail in Tillamook County, Oregon. It is within Cape Lookout State Park. It is 2.3 miles long and begins at 850 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 4.6 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,248 feet. Near the trailhead there is parking.
Distance: mi Elevation: ft
Cape Lookout Trail is a hiking trail in Tillamook County, Oregon. It is within Cape Lookout State Park. It is 2.3 miles long and begins at 850 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 4.6 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,248 feet. Near the trailhead there is parking. This trail connects with the following: South Trail and North Trail.
Activity Type: Hiking, Road Biking, Trail Running, Walking
Nearby City: Cape Lookout State Park
Distance: 2.3
Elevation Gain: 1,248 feet
Trailhead Elevation: 850 feet
Top Elevation: 850 feet
Accessibility: Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly
Driving Directions: Directions to Cape Lookout Trail
Parks: Cape Lookout State Park
Elevation Min/Max: 389/850 ft
Elevation Start/End: 850/850 ft
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Hiking Oregon (State Hiking Guides Series)

Hiking Oregon (State Hiking Guides Series)

This ramble through a lush coastal forest of rare old-growth Sitka spruce leads to the end of scenic Cape Lookout in Cape Lookout State Park.

Along the way there are magnificent views of Cape Meares to the north and Cape Kiwanda to the south. Gray whales can be seen in December, January, March, and April as they near the cape on their semiannual migrations. The trail can be muddy during the winter and spring months.

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Day Hiking: Oregon Coast

Day Hiking: Oregon Coast

From the top of Cape Lookout you can hike 2 miles down to a secluded beach with a small tide-pool area. Continue your hike down the beach before returning, if you like, or arrange for a shuttle car at Sand Beach Campground.

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Day Hiking: Oregon Coast

Day Hiking: Oregon Coast

This stretch of the Oregon Coast Trail serves day hikers as a link from the sea-level campground to trails taking off from atop Cape Lookout. Between the campground and the picnic area is a 0.25-mile loop hike designed for young children, with sixteen marked stations identifying plants and forest processes.

Pick up a trail guide brochure at the campground registration booth. A second short loop trail along Jackson Creek trail has a panel explaining fish habitat restoration efforts here; look for it off the park entrance road east of the RV dump station.

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Hiking the Oregon Coast

Hiking the Oregon Coast

This easy ramble through a lush coastal forest of rare old-growth Sitka spruce leads to the end of scenic Cape Lookout in Cape Lookout State Park. Along the way there are magnificent views of Cape Meares to the north and Cape Kiwanda to the south.

Gray whales can be seen in December, January, March, and April as they near the cape on their semiannual migrations. Trail surface: Well-maintained dirt path through a thick Sitka spruce forest with occasional roots and rocks and wooden ramps over muddy sections of the trail.

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Best Hikes with Dogs: Oregon

Best Hikes with Dogs: Oregon

The Cape Lookout Trail to the western tip of Cape Lookout is the most popular of the hikes that tour the cape. This was once a vast wetland, where five rivers met to form an estuary. Dikes and drainage tiles have turned it into world-class dairy land.

This has produced some yummy cheese but has also badly degraded the water quality of Tillamook Bay and created major flood hazards. Recent years have seen efforts by the Tillamook Estuaries Partnership (www.tbnep.org) to restore the bay and strike a new balance between economy and ecology.

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Day Hiking: Oregon Coast

Day Hiking: Oregon Coast

Cape Lookout, a steep-cliffed promontory extending nearly 2 miles due west into the Pacific, is a wonderful destination for hikers, with more than 7 miles of trail connecting miles of open beach. This hike to the tip of the cape and back is the most popular year-round.

The 400-foothigh viewpoint at the end of the trail is considered one of the best sites for whale-watching on the Oregon coast. Gray whales may pass as close as 100 yards, but binoculars always improve viewing. Be prepared for mud on the trail in rainy periods.

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Bicycling the Pacific Coast

Bicycling the Pacific Coast

This ride is dominated by three major climbs over three capes. The first climb, over Cape Lookout, begins as soon as you leave the campground. The second climb, over Cascade Head, occurs near the midpoint of the ride. The third climb, over the aptly named Cape Foulweather, awaits you at the end of the day. All three capes are forested and views are hard to come by.

However, numerous highlights along the other sections of the ride ensure that you will not miss this area’s outstanding scenery. Plan an early start to allow extra time for a stop at Cape Kiwanda (the third cape on the Three Capes Scenic Route). The cape is a fascinating place; boats are launched directly into the surf, hang gliders take off from the sand dunes, and surfers challenge the waves. From the parking lot, a short walk over sand dunes leads to one of the greatest photography spots on the Oregon Coast.

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Best Easy Day Hikes: Oregon's North Coast

Best Easy Day Hikes: Oregon's North Coast

This route travels through a lush coastal forest of rare old-growth Sitka spruce to the end of scenic Cape Lookout in Cape Lookout State Park. Along the way there are magnificent views of Cape Meares to the north and Cape Kiwanda to the south. Gray whales can be seen in December, January, March, and April as they near the cape on their semiannual migrations.

Cape Lookout, part of 2,000-acre Cape Lookout State Park (host to a campground, scenic Netarts Spit, and a variety of plants and animals), is a spectacular headland made up of a series of lava flows fifteen to twenty million years old. Jutting into the ocean like an arrowhead, its 400-foot cliffs are regularly pounded and carved by rhythmic waves and currents.

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Hiking Oregon (Ikenberry)

Hiking Oregon (Ikenberry)

A fun hike through lush coastal vegetation with outstanding ocean views. The cape trail travels through a stand of Sitka spruce, offering occasional views to the south and later north. Although the trail seems to be mostly level, it is a gradual descent with a few ups and downs, the norm as you travel past carpets of huckleberry and salal.

Special attractions: Some wildflowers in the spring; the chance to view gray whales in spring and fall. At the point, there’s a nice view to the south with tall, thick salal marring the view north.

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Trail Running Oregon

Trail Running Oregon

A classic coast trail that takes you through an amazing Sitka spruce forest to the tip of Cape Lookout. Views. This coastal running adventure begins by switchbacking steeply downhill through a thick Sitka spruce forest.

Distant views of Cape Kiwanda and Cascade Head to the south are a trail distraction you’ll find just past 0.5 mile. Views looking north of Cape Meares and Neahkahnie Mountain begin at about 1.2 miles. The potentially slick wood boardwalks keep you up and out of the thick mire of mud that is present on this trail in the winter months. After 2.5 miles you’ll reach the end of the trail at a spectacular viewpoint 400 feet from the crashing waves below. From this cliff-top viewpoint, look for the distant spray of migrating whales from December through June.

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Best Hikes Near Portland, Oregon

Best Hikes Near Portland, Oregon

The narrow and rugged ridge of Cape Lookout stretches 1.8 miles into the Pacific Ocean. The top of the cape is mostly timbered but the sides are steep to vertical cliffs that drop hundreds of feet into the wild Pacific surf.

Along the hike to the end of the cape, many viewpoints offer vistas of the ocean and its beaches. About 0.5 mile west of the trailhead, a short distance to the right (north) of the trail is the site of a 1943 plane crash.

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Best Hikes Near Portland, Oregon

Best Hikes Near Portland, Oregon

Descend the South Trail from Cape Lookout Trailhead to a somewhat secluded beach 800 feet below. This hike offers tremendous views of the steep and rugged south face of Cape Lookout. The entire hike is through dense coastal forest.

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Best Hikes with Dogs: Oregon

Best Hikes with Dogs: Oregon

Along the way, there are views of the Netarts Spit to the north, as well as a nice stream for cooling off.

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60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Portland

60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Portland

This park offers everything you’d want from the Oregon coast: old-growth forest; secluded beaches; cliff-top views; and wildlife on land, wing, and water. You’ve got three options from the trailhead, and with a little energy you could do them all.

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May 2018