- Level: Easy (Beginner Level: Challenging.)
- Length: 4.8 miles
- Elevation: 400* ft. gain
- Type: out and back
- Open: all year
- Permit: n/a
- Drive time from Portland: 1h40m
- Google map: “Cape Lookout Trailhead”
People were always shocked when I’d reveal I hadn’t yet done this trail. I knew it would be beautiful, but I hadn’t done it for the most obvious reason: PEOPLE. Too many people. Regardless, it was one of those days where it was suppose to be rainy and terrible in Portland and mystifyingly sunny and gorgeous on the coast, so Brie and I gave it a go. It was incredibly beautiful and I loved it and, yes, PEOPLE, but it was so fun I didn’t even really care.
The cape is but a thin, cliff-edged, two-mile long finger of land jutting out into my beloved Pacific Ocean. It’s apparently a great whale watching spot in the winter months through spring. Prepare for a lot of mud in the wetter seasons. Parts of this trail are not for the faint of heart. I’m terrified of heights, though we have a better relationship because of hiking, and there were parts where the trail was very narrow with nothing but a sheer drop-off to one side.
From the trailhead:
Follow the path from the trailhead at the end of the parking lot, going straight at the junction, and following the trail until reaching the rail-edged tip of the cape. Return as you came.
*I’m not sure about the elevation gain on this. My book says 400 ft., which feels likely, but OregonHikers.org, says 930 ft. I don’t know, plan for something in the middle of the two stats.
Afterward, we went and played at a nearby beach and found a handful of beautiful agates.