Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
4.80 mi (7.72 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Of Oregon’s Northern Coast hikes, the Cape Lookout Trail is arguably one of the most picturesque. Weaving between a dense forest of Sitka spruce and along the 400-foot cliff edge, hikers get the best of both worlds: stunning vertical views of old-growth in deep green forest, and breathtaking horizontal expanses of the shoreline. Keep your eyes open for wildlife as well. Peregrine falcons are known to nest in the area, and if you visit in March, you may also catch migrating gray whales traveling north from Mexico with their calves.

At the hike’s turn-around point and the furthest tip of the 1.5-mile headland, impressive views extend both north and south. To the south you’ll see Cape Kiwanda and Haystack Rock off the shore.  This Haystack Rock is not to be confused with the more commonly known sea stack off the shores of Cannon Beach that shares its name (there are actually three Haystack Rocks on the Oregon Coast). To the north you can see the Netarts Bay Spit and Cape Meares.

Along with this natural jetty, Cape Lookout State Park includes one of Oregon’s best and most popular campgrounds.  Make sure to reserve a tent, yurt or RV site early, especially if planning a summer visit.  With miles of hiking trails, sandy beaches and options for overnight stays, Cape Lookout is an excellent area to visit and to explore the Pacific Ocean and Siuslaw National Forest.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

State Park Fee

Pros

Old-growth forest. Panoramic views. Diversity of scenery.

Cons

Heavily used. Muddy and often slippery trail.

Trailhead Elevation

840.00 ft (256.03 m)

Net Elevation Gain

440.00 ft (134.11 m)

Features

Whale watching
Wildlife
Bird watching
Big vistas
Old-growth forest

Typically multi-day

No

Location

Field Guide + Map

Comments

02/21/2016
Checked out Munson Creek Falls and then headed out here to see Cape Lookout. Lucked out with a beautiful day. Winds were light and the sun was bright. Not your typical
12/17/2014
My wife and I did the Cape Lookout hike on literally the most beautiful December day I have ever witnessed in my 34 years in Oregon. I grew up on the Oregon coast and Cape Lookout was one of the few places I had not visited. This is one of, if not the most spectacular hike on the Oregon coast, particularly when the whales are migrating as they were when we visited.
06/19/2014
Perfect weather for today's hike! Finding a murre eggshell at the end of the cape was a special treat.
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