Cape Meares is one of three capes on the Three Capes Scenic route. The other two are Cape Lookout and Cape Kiwanda. Cape Meares, just a short drive from Garibaldi, juts out into the Pacific on a mountain that soars 200-feet above the ocean. The crown jewel of Cape Meares is its historic lighthouse. In addition, there is an informational kiosk, the Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge, nature trails, and the Octopus Tree, an Oregon Heritage Tree. A picnic area that can accommodate small groups is located adjacent to the parking area and picnic tables are situated in the center of the parking circle.
Cape Meares Lighthouse is open daily April through October from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. A wide, asphalt trail that is wheelchair accessible, provides easy access to the lighthouse. Benches are located along the path. Admittance to Cape Meares Lighthouse is free. An interpretive gift shop features items related to lighthouses, the sea, wildlife, wild flowers and souvenirs.
For birdwatchers, the park provides excellent views of one of the continent’s largest colonies of nesting Common Murres. Bald eagles and peregrine falcons nest nearby. And it is a fabulous spot for whale watching in spring and fall. The viewpoint is adjacent to the refuge, which protects an old-growth coastal forest.
The park is open daily, throughout the year, from 7 a.m. to dusk with no day use fee. The trailhead to the Big Spruce, Oregon’s largest Sitka Spruce, is located near the park entrance. Take U.S. Highway 101 into Tillamook, then turn west on Third Street, which becomes State Route 131 and follow it to the cape.
For more information:
Scenic Viewpoint: www.oregonstateparks.org/park_181.php
Light house: www.capemeareslighthouse.org/