A couple weekends ago I went to the coast with a group of friends on an annual beach house trip, and while there, I took a little hike in Cape Lookout State Park. Just 20 minutes south of Oceanside (where we stayed) is Cape Lookout, and it’s pretty much what it sounds like; a cape that extends out into the ocean where you can get a beautiful view of the shoreline. I went on a great day that started out cloudy, but cleared off for awhile to allow me to see some beautiful sparkling blue water, and sandy evergreen line. At this spot you have two options; You can take a 1.8 mile hike down switchbacks to the beach, or you can go 2.4 miles one way to the end of the cape. I chose the latter, and although I was hoping to do the second beach trail too, I ran out of time before I could make that happen. Since this trail winds through old growth coastal forest, the setting makes it feel like you are on a tropical island, weaving through the jungle, climbing over vines and under tree limbs. It was a change of pace from the normal forested Oregon trails and it made it really seem like an adventure! My only problem with this trail was that I was hoping to see a 360 degree view of both coastlines at the end of the trail, but you can only see the southern coastline because the other direction is blocked by trees. Once you are nearing the end of the trail you have almost the same view at the very tip of the cape. I chose to back track 100 ft to a nice quiet spot where I could enjoy my Clif Bar while sitting on the side of the cliff (how fitting).
The trail is a gradual slope down to the end of the cape and makes it seem like you are on mostly flat trail the whole way down. However, it becomes apparent on the way back that you were indeed on a slope, and it’s just enough of an incline to make you breathe a little heavier. I was fortunate enough to visit Cape Lookout on a semi-clear day, so my views were pretty good. However since this is the Oregon coast there’s a pretty good chance you will see clouds and fog. I would still recommend this trail on a cloudy day since the trail itself was so interesting to me, but you could always do the shorter trail down the the beach for a different end of hike reward!