Exploring the Pacific Northwest: Cape Lookout, Oregon

Coastal camping is so magical. There’s something very special about listening to the waves while laying in a sleeping bag in a cozy tent. So, when I found an available site at Cape Lookout on the Oregon coast, I jumped on it. We spent two nights at Cape Lookout in June and had an awesome time.
We left Portland at 3 o’clock on and it was over 95 degrees. We arrived Cape Lookout at 5 o’clock and it was barely 60 degrees. And to think I almost left our beanies and jackets at home. That’s the thing about the Pacific Northwest – you never know what you’re going to get. Be prepared and bring it all – rain jackets and bikinis.

We got settled at our site and explored the beach. It’s a great set-up – the campsite nestled between a coastal forest and the long sandy beach. The sites aren’t very private, secluded or picturesque, but the grand scheme is awesome. Our campsite was a short stroll from the beach; just far enough to allow Reece to practice her 2-wheeling skills. Then we bundled up for dinner and fireside chatting.

On Saturday morning, we drove up to the trailhead to hike the Cape Lookout trail. We followed the trail for about a mile and a half checking out the views, trees and other surprising sites. While we didn’t make it to the end, we sure enjoyed the trip. The trail travels the length of the peninsula and is high above the Pacific – we were able to catch views of the beach to the south and north. I’ve read that given the right time of year, whales can be spotted from the trail as they head down the coast. It wasn’t a challenging hike, but still the kids needed some encouragement (i.e. bribing) and were rewarded with post-hike chocolate milk. 

 We spent the rest of the day on the beach with good friends who came out from Portland for the afternoon. The beach was full of campers and day trippers enjoying the sun and sand. While it wasn’t bikini weather, it was still really nice out and perfect for chilling. When evening rolled in, everyone set up to watch the sunset on the sand – drinks, laughs and children all around. It was pretty dreamy.

The next morning we woke up to thunder and holed up in our tent while we waited the rain out. We decided to forgo our planned hike down to the beach south of the peninsula (a 4-mile, muddy hike with some major elevation) and instead, packed up and headed south to hike the sand dunes at Cape Kiwanda. Then, we grabbed a bite to eat at the Pelican Pub in Pacific City before heading home.

It was an awesome weekend on the coast and we will certainly be back!

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