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Oregon State Parks

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Oregon Coast Region
Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint
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Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint © Rick Stasel
Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint © Rick Stasel
Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint © Rick Stasel
Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint © Rick Stasel
Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint © Jack F. Peyton
Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint © Jack F. Peyton
Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint © Rick Stasel
Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint © Rick Stasel
Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint © Rick Stasel
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CAPE MEARES STATE SCENIC VIEWPOINT
CAPE MEARES STATE SCENIC VIEWPOINT
3500 Cape Meares Loop
Tillamook, Oregon   97141
(lat:45.4859 lon:-123.9745) map location

Phone: 503-842-3182
Known for its lighthouse, stunning ocean views, and octopus-shaped Sitka spruce, Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint is a must-see when driving the Three Capes Scenic Loop.

From the parks many viewpoints, you might spot migrating gray whales or other marine mammals such as sea lions, dolphins, and porpoise. During our Whale Watch Week programing in December and Spring Break, volunteers are stationed here to help visitors spot migrating whales. No matter what time of year you visit, binoculars are a must

From April through July, the steep cliffs and offshore rocks are nesting sites for thousands of seabirds, including common murres, pelagic and Brandts cormorants and pigeon guillemots. Peregrine falcons occasionally nest on the cliffs in the spring.

While here, be sure to take the 0.1-mile path from the main parking lot to the unusually shaped Octopus Tree, named for its thick, sprawling limbs. From a turnoff at the park entrance, a 0.8-mile trail heads north through a forest of old growth spruce that's part of a National Wildlife Refuge. Take the .25-mile spur trail to the largest Sitka spruce tree in Oregon.
History of the Area
Cape Meares, located on the northern Oregon coast, has a rich history that dates back centuries. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes who relied on its abundant natural resources for sustenance and trade.

In 1806, Captain William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition explored this region during their famous journey to the Pacific Ocean. They named Cape Meares after John Meares, a British explorer who had previously sailed along this coastline.

During the late 19th century, settlers began arriving in Cape Meares attracted by its lush forests and proximity to Tillamook Bay. Logging became an important industry in the area as vast stands of timber were harvested for construction purposes across Oregon.

One notable feature at Cape Meares is its historic lighthouse which was built in 1889 atop a cliff overlooking the ocean. This iconic structure served as an essential navigational aid until it was decommissioned in 1963 due to advances in technology making it obsolete.

Another significant event occurred near Cape Meares during World War II when Fort Stevens (located nearby) came under attack from Japanese submarines off America's west coast - one of only two mainland attacks throughout WWII within US territory.



Trails
1. Cape Meares Lighthouse Trail: This is a short, 0.2-mile trail that leads to the historic lighthouse built in 1890.

2. Octopus Tree Trail: A quick and easy walk of about 800 feet from the parking lot takes you to this unique Sitka spruce tree with its unusual shape.

3. Big Spruce Loop Trail: It's an approximately one mile round trip hike through lush coastal forest leading up to Oregon's largest Situka spruce tree which stands over two hundred feet tall.

4. North Hiking Trails (Cape Meares Beach): These trails lead north towards Short Beach and Oceanside offering stunning views of Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge along the way; they vary between moderate difficulty levels due their steep inclines at certain points but are well worth it for ocean vistas alone!

5. Cape Lookout State Park Connector: An adventurous hiking route connecting Cape Mears Scenic Viewpoint with nearby Cape Lookout State park via beachfront paths or cliffside routes depending on tide conditions.

6. South Hiking Trails: The southward facing trails offer breathtaking panoramic views across Tillamook Bay while winding down toward Netarts Spit where hikers can enjoy bird watching opportunities during migration seasons.

7. Viewpoints Walking Path: Easy walking path around viewpoints providing spectacular sights including offshore rocks, nesting seabirds, migrating whales as well as sunsets over Pacific Ocean.

8. Wildlife Viewing Area Paths: Several small offshoot pathways near main viewing areas designed specifically for wildlife spotting such as deer grazing among trees or sea lions lounging on distant rock formations.

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Area Campgrounds
Netarts Bay RV Park & Marina
2260 Bilyeu
Netarts, OR
Big Spruce RV Park
4850 Netarts Highway W
Tillamook, OR
503-842-7443
Nearby Hotels
Booking.com

Directions
1. Start by heading towards Tillamook either from Highway 101 or Highway 6.
2. Once you arrive in Tillamook, continue driving west on Third Street (Highway 131) until you reach Netarts Bay Drive West.
3. Turn left onto Netarts Bay Drive West and drive for about two miles until you see a sign indicating Cape Meares State Park Road to your right.
4. Take the right turn onto Cape Meares State Park Road and proceed along this road as it winds through scenic forests for around four miles.

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Oregon
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Oregon State Parks

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