9 Epic Things To Do At Cape Lookout State Park

Post Summary: Things To Do At Cape Lookout State Park On The Oregon Coast

Found on the Three Capes Scenic Drive, Cape Lookout State Park is one of the most popular places to visit on the Oregon coast.

Boasting an epic campground, great views, and lots of things to do, this park is the place to be this year.

Let’s get into it!

All The Best Things To Do at Cape Lookout, Oregon

Where is Cape Lookout State Park?

Cape Lookout State Park, Oregon is north of Pacific City and west of Tillamook.

The park is 975 acres and has tons of fun things to do!

One of the best ways to reach Cape Lookout State Park is via the Three Capes Scenic Loop Drive on Cape Lookout Road/Whiskey Creek Rd.

Like many parks in the Pacific Northwest, Cape Lookout State Park boasts stunning ocean views, great camping, and awesome PNW hiking trails.

Emily Mandagie hiking at Cape Lookout Trail Oregon

Cape Lookout Weather

In general, the Cape Lookout weather is steady year-round. It doesn’t usually get too hot or below freezing.

Cape Lookout has an average high temperature of 62ºF in the fall and 52ºF in the winter. In the spring, Cape Lookout’s temperatures rise to an average high of 58ºF, and the summer’s average high is 67ºF. It’s a lovely place to be!

It’s often sunny on the Oregon coast at Cape Lookout State Park, though there are definitely some rainy days–especially in the spring and fall.

Need further assistance? Check out our Oregon coast packing list to help prepare for your trip to Cape Lookout State Park!

Cape Lookout Oregon Coast View from Peninsula

Helpful Tips When Visiting Cape Lookout State Park

An Oregon State Parking Pass is required when visiting Cape Lookout State Park.

You can get a 1-day parking permit when entering the park (at any kiosk) or get a year-long pass online for $30.

Another helpful tip when visiting Cape Lookout State Park is that there’s a day-use area next to the campground. If you’re driving the Three Capes Scenic Loop or are just visiting for the day, this day-use area is the perfect adventure for everyone!

There are two EV charging stations available at the day-use parking area.

Up for some hiking and beachcombing? You can get beach access from the Cape Lookout Trail and day use area!

Places To Stay Near Cape Lookout State Park Oregon - Oceanside

Places to Stay Near Cape Lookout State Park

Cape Lookout State Park has a very popular, very big campground right next to the ocean that is one of the best campgrounds on the Oregon coast!

The Cape Lookout Campground has tons of regular campsites for tents and RVs, but there are also yurts, cabins, and group sites as well!

If you’re looking for something offsite, the Thousand Trails RV Resort near Pacific City, OR is a great option.

There are also tons of vacation homes in Oceanside, OR and Netarts, OR that are perfect for a romantic getaway in Oregon or a family trip.

Cape Lookout Yurts - Cape Lookout Oregon Camping
The Cape Lookout Yurts are available year-round!

9 Amazing Things To Do At Cape Lookout State Park

So what are the kinds of things to do at Cape Lookout State Park? We’ve got you covered with all the best things to do at Cape Lookout and where to find them!

1. Go Camping at Cape Lookout

You can find great Oregon coast camping at any of the Cape Lookout camping locations!

We know a lot of families who camp here together every year, as the campsites are exceptional. It’s easily the most popular thing to do in the park!

You’ll definitely want to stay at the Cape Lookout campground, as it’s within the park itself and has tons of unique places to stay. There are tons of tent sites, RV hookup sites, yurts, a hiker/biker camp, and group camping spots!

Hot Tip: You can reserve your spot up to 6 months in advance (which we recommend doing, as the campground can get pretty full).

There are also a few Cape Lookout cabins that are rentable within the park (6 total cabins). You can even bring your furry friend to some of them (3 pet-friendly cabins)! Learn more about this lodging option here.

There are five ADA accessible lodging options within the Cape Lookout campground: two campsites, one cabin, and two yurts (includes ramps and ADA compliant features).

2. Hike the Cape Lookout Trail

The Cape Lookout Trail is a moderately challenging, 4.7-mile hike with 793’ elevation gain.

It’s relatively flat and easy, but very muddy–especially in the spring!

You’ll want a good pair of waterproof hiking boots if you’re planning on hiking this in the spring or fall. Hiking poles can also be used for extra stability, as there are quite a lot of prominent roots along the trail.

While on the Cape Lookout Trail, you’ll see lots of wildlife, epic ocean views, and reach the beach at the end.

Click here for a Cape Lookout Trail map and to learn more about what you’ll see while hiking.

Best Oregon Coast Hikes - Cape Kiwanda

3. Explore Beaches near Cape Lookout State Park

Beachcombing in the Pacific Northwest (searching the beach for objects of value) is a very popular activity in the region.

This is especially true on the Oregon coast where there are tons of sea stacks and rocky shores.

The most popular beach in Cape Lookout State Park is Cape Lookout Beach, which can be reached via the day use lot or the Cape Lookout campground.

Cape Lookout Beach spans over three miles, so this is a great place for a relaxing walk along the shore.

Outside of the park, the most popular beaches nearby are Cape Kiwanda, Short Beach, Tunnel Beach, and Cape Meares Beach.

Hot Tip: Some beaches in Oregon even allow beach bonfires. A perfect activity for a group of friends hoping to cook some delicious s’mores! Just make sure you know if it’s legal and take all the necessary precautions to make the activity both safe and fun.

Emily Mandagie watching for whales on the Oregon Coast

4. View Wildlife at Cape Lookout State Park

One of the best things about Cape Lookout State Park is that it’s a great location for whale watching!

The best time to see migrating whales is from mid-December through January and late March to June as they travel from Alaska (their feeding grounds) to California (their breeding grounds) and back!

You can get excellent views of whales from the top of Cape Lookout or at the end of the Cape Lookout Peninsula.

If you don’t catch a glimpse of migrating whales, it’s likely you’ll see elk, seals, sea lions, and birds instead!

Don’t forget to bring a good pair of binoculars!

5. Enjoy the Scenery at Anderson’s Viewpoint

Anderson’s Viewpoint is one of the best places to take photos in the park!

Just one mile south of the park, you can reach Anderson’s Viewpoint via the Three Capes Scenic Loop or Cape Lookout Road.

Here, you’ll get great views of Oceanside’s Three Arch Rocks, the Pacific Ocean, and Cape Lookout.

If you’re looking for more places in Cape Lookout State Park with epic views, check out the Cape Lookout Scenic Viewpoint!

6. Drive the Three Capes Scenic Loop

One of the best ways to experience the Oregon coast is on the Three Capes Scenic Loop.

This route is a scenic drive in Oregon that offers visitors stellar ocean views and passes through tons of cute Oregon coast towns.

Whether you make the drive a long or short road trip, driving the Three Capes Scenic Loop is great for connecting with friends/family in the car, catching up on all the best PNW podcasts, and asking each other tons of unique road trip questions!

The Three Capes Scenic Loop takes you through Cape Lookout State Park, Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint, and Cape Kiwanda near Pacific City, Oregon.

Driving the Three Capes Scenic Loop is a great way to get some cool Oregon coast hikes under your belt, go whale watching, have a lovely Oregon coast picnic, or simply enjoy the greenery and Sitka spruce.

For a Cape Lookout map with all the best stops along the Three Capes Scenic Loop, check out our complete guide on this scenic Oregon drive!

Oregon Beach Towns - Pacific City - TheMandagies.com

7. Enjoy the Nearby Towns of Netarts and Oceanside

Both Netarts and Oceanside, Oregon are among some of the cutest Oregon coast towns.

Here, you can visit the nearby Jacobsen Salt Co., go oyster tasting, and visit cute and teeny restaurants for a fun, local visit!

While staying in the park, you must take a few day trips out to any of the nearby Oregon coast towns!

Towns on the Oregon Coast - Tillamook

8. Go a Bit Farther and Explore Pacific City and Tillamook Too

Pacific City and Tillamook, Oregon are other fun places to visit while staying at Cape Lookout State Park! And, they’re under a 20-minute drive outside of the park!

In Pacific City, we definitely recommend visiting Cape Kiwanda (one of many fun stops along the Three Capes Scenic Loop!) and walking around the charming coastal town.

It has tons of shops, local restaurants, or grabbing a drink at Pelican Brewery.

While in Tillamook, we suggest going to the Tillamook Cheese Factory!

Cape Lookout Hike to Lookout Point

9. Cape Lookout Hiking Trails

While there is not a lot of hikes at Cape Lookout State Park (except for its namesake trail), here are just a few other trails that might be interesting to check out:

Other Oregon coast hiking trails at Cape Lookout State Park:

  • Netarts Spit Trail (10.6 miles with 29’ elevation gain)
  • Oregon Islands South Trail (3.1 miles with 780 elevation gain)
  • Cape Lookout Beach Trail (at the end of the Cape Lookout Trail)
  • North Trail at Cape Lookout (9.6 miles with 2,340’ elevation gain–takes you to the top of Cape Lookout)

Cape Lookout Activities Summary List

Looking for a quick bucket list of things to do at Cape Lookout Oregon? Here it is below:

  1. Go Camping at Cape Lookout Yurts, Campsites, or Cabins
  2. 2. Hike the Cape Lookout Trail
  3. Explore Beaches nearby
  4. View Wildlife at Cape Lookout State Park
  5. Enjoy the scenery at Anderson’s Viewpoint
  6. Drive the Three Capes Scenic Loop
  7. Enjoy the towns of Netarts and Oceanside
  8. Explore Pacific City and Tillamook Too
  9. Cape Lookout Hiking Trails

Cape Lookout State Park Map

Click here for an up-to-date map that includes surrounding areas, campground, and more!

Other State Parks Near Cape Lookout State Park + Things To Do

Cape Meares Scenic Viewpoint: The Cape Meares Scenic Viewpoint is one of the best places for PNW photography!

Oswald West State Park: Did you know you can go surfing here? There are tons of fun things to do in Oswald West State Park that are worth checking out.

Cape Kiwanda State Scenic Area / Pacific City: This is one of our favorite areas on the Oregon coast! Pacific City has tons of cool places to visit–especially if you’re interested in the Three Capes Scenic Loop drive and visiting Cape Kiwanda!

Sand Lake Recreation Area: This is a cool place to take the family and explore! Here, you can go off-roading, OHV sand camping, crabbing, hiking, and more.

Tillamook: If you love ice cream, you’ll love the Tillamook Cheese Factory! Visit this charming town for a unique experience you’ll remember forever.

God’s Thumb: Drive down to Lincoln city and hike this iconic God’s Thumb trail!


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