Author: Bryce LaDuc, Trailblazer
We relocated from Upstate New York to Portland last fall and have been exploring the PNW ever since. One of our favorite things to do on the weekends is to head to the coast for some camping and hiking.
One place that we keep going back to is Cape Lookout State Park – the tent sites here sit just on the other side of the dunes and you can hear the waves crashing all night long. In addition, there are pet friendly yurts and rustic cabins. The cabins sit in the woods overlooking the beautiful coastline and are elevated just enough to catch the perfect sunset right from the deck. They do fill up quickly so plan to book these ahead of time if you plan to go.
The state park itself offers spectacular beaches - some with cliffy walls and waterfalls dropping right into the ocean, and others where the sandy shore stretches for what seems like forever. In addition to the beach, there are miles of hiking trails including the Cape Lookout Trail that takes you to an incredible viewpoint where you can watch whales migrating along the coast.
If you plan to camp here and also explore the local area, there are plenty of things to see and do:
South (about twenty minutes):
Pacific City and Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area– explore the dunes and the cliffs in this stunning area and grab a beer and some food and watch the sunset or the surfers at the oceanfront Pelican Brewing Company.
North (about twenty minutes):
Head north to see Oregon’s shortest lighthouse at Cape Meares and take a short hike to see the Octopus Tree - a massive Sitka spruce with branches growing like tentacles from its 50+-foot base. When you’re done exploring this area, head to the Tillamook Cheese Factory and sample some delicious local cheese.