In planning our trip, we found out that the road to the town of Cape Meares was closed due to landslide damage. We took an alternate route by traveling on State Road 131 out of 3rd Street in Tillamook, Oregon, via Netarts and followed the signs at Oceanside. From the town of Oceanside we had this trip's first view of the Pacific Ocean.
Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint is situated on a headland over 200 feet above the ocean. Cape Lookout and Cape Kiwanda are the other two capes on this route. Cape Meares provides an excellent view of the largest colony of nesting common murres. The site is one of the most populous colonies of nesting sea birds on the continent. Bald eagles are frequently seen in this area, and peregrine falcons have also been known to nest near here. Unfortunately, we saw no eagles or falcons. We spotted those later in the trip.
|View from Cape Meares Scenic Viewpoint|
|One of the capes of Three Capes Scenic Route|
|Rocks the common murres nest on|
|View of rock formations from Cape Meares|
The Cape Meares Scenic Viewpoint offers tours of an 1890s lighthouse, the Sallie Jacobson Interpretive Kiosk, and interpretive panels at key viewpoints. Cape Meares has over three miles of hiking trails and a mile-long walking trail that winds through old-growth spruce trees, including the uniquely-shaped "Octopus Tree".
|The Octopus Tree|
|Informational sign about Octopus Tree|
|Another view of the Octopus Tree|
A short quarter mile hike from a turn-off at the park entrance will bring you to the largest Sitka spruce tree in the state of Oregon. In winter and spring, this park is an excellent location for viewing whale migrations. During the summer, resident whales can be seen from Cape Meares along with seals and sea lions that are often seen and heard.
|Lighthouse from the top of the hill|
|View walking up to the light house|
|View of lighthouse from the back and ground|
The inside of the lighthouse is open May to September yearly. Although admission and tours of the lighthouse are free, we just missed a tour and didn't have time to wait for the next tour to begin.
After leaving the Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint we drove through the Cape Lookout State Park and took a few photos of the park including a beach where people were playing soccer.
|Cape Lookout State Park - soccer game|
|Cape Lookout State Park|
|Sand dunes outside of Cape Lookout State Park|
Our next destination was the Neskowin Ghost Forest! Ooohhhh, scary!