Cape Lookout state park camping can be reached by traveling an hour and a half west of Portland through the scenic Wilson River pass. Along the way stop and enjoy waterfalls, scenic views and some great fishing. A popular campground and day-use area, Cape Lookout Campground is located on a sand spit between Netarts Bay and the ocean, giving you a terrific view of the ocean with convenient access to the beach.
This was my first visit to Cape Lookout, or camping on the Oregon coast, for that matter. The RV sites are separated from the tent sites, which is nice. Most of the tent sites are fairly open, some of them have more privacy, but all of them are very green and incredibly close to the beach while still being somewhat protected from the wind coming off of the ocean.
Bathrooms were relatively clean, though you always have someone emptying all of their camp trash in the bathroom trash can (pizza boxes? Really?) so it's hard to keep up. Staff were knowledgeable and helpful.
A truly beautiful place.
Cape Lookout was an awesome little place right on the beach! I would wake up every morning and go out to the beach to watch the waves. Our stay was relaxing and beautiful. There are a TON of campsites at this campground, so you'll be sure to find one you like. The bathrooms and showers were clean which is always nice. There was a little store that sold firewood, and even a junior ranger program that my little cousins did.
The beach out in front of the campground was super nice, because it was sandy unlike a lot of the other beaches we had seen up the coast. Check out cape lookout trail, it was a nice moderate little hike. We still got our fill of the rocky beaches when we drove up the washington coast. It wasn't too far, and we spent one day road tripping up and back down the coast looking for cool hikes.
All around great place to stay, no complaints!
In May/June I rode a bicycle down the coast of Oregon. Cape Lookout was the first hiker/biker camp I stayed at after leaving Portland, and it set the standard by which all other camps would be judged.
The area around camp is fairly rural until you crest Whiskey Creek Road (heading south). Neterts Bay spreads out in the distance, along with a dense pine forest. The road in is smooth and blacktopped. The trip in will overwhlm the senses with the lushness of all the green (in the spring), the freshness of the fragrances and the always magic of the Pacific.
Camp itself splits in two parts. RVs, Car Campers and Tents on the north side. Hiker/Bikers on south. They are connected by both beach, trail and a blacktop road to a day use area.
The north side is nice but fairly packed in. You better like your neighbor. There are also yurts and cabins available on this side. The cabins looked more appealing being a little separated at the foot of the North Trail. I camped on the south side so this review primarily reflects that space.
The hiker/biker site was flipping awesome. A dozen plus sites tucked under giant trees but close enough to ocean to view it through the trees, and listen to the crashing waves at night. The sites were close to each other but the ground growth including ferns reaching over my head made for a fairly private camping experiences.
Also, awesome amenities. After a long day of riding (or hiking) Cape Lookout offered:
- free hot showers (on the north side)
- storage boxes with USB charging stations for phones and lights
- Fire Pits
- Picnic Tables
- hiking right out of camp (Birding!)
- bike racks
There was also plenty of firewood lying around, as well as bundles available at the entry. There are plenty of hiking trails leading out both sides of the camp, and you can go for over 3 miles along the beach out of camp towards the Neterts Bay Peninisula.
Oregon Hiker Biker Sites are $7-8.
*Pro-Tip: If you are headed south on foot or bicycle there is an 875' climb immediately leaving camp. It is a beast. Fairly vertical. There is a lookout point about halfway up you'll run into plenty of others who need a break.
Amazing state park
Very fun Campground. Around so many cool things to see and do. I love the Oregon coast, this is a must stop when in the area
After visiting several Oregon Coast state parks and campgrounds, I must say that this campground is in its own class in terms of scenic beauty and accessibility to the beach, which is linked by several hiking trails, including the famous Cape Lookout trail that takes one to the tip of the peninsula for great whale watching, a seasonal waterfall, and fun small coves unveiled during lower tide.
We did not stay within the campsite, however walking through it we were impressed by the relative peace and quiet even during the summer, the number of campgrounds more secluded in the interior areas and those that neighbored majestic old-growth fir trees. We would definitely want to return and stay in one of the few highly coveted cabins that are on the north end of the state park. From the exterior, they appear to have ample front porches for barbeques with family and friends, and each cabin is strategically spaced to allow for maximum views.
Whenever we have tried booking a campsite it has been a challenge due to its popularity, so doing so well in advance is advised!
- Campsites are fairly close together but we didn't mind! The campground was full for July 4 weekend, yet not too loud and facilities weren't crowded
- Free, very private showers! Soap in the bathrooms! Super nice and clean!
- Steps away from a beautiful, expansive beach
- Do the Cape Lookout peninsula hike! Gorgeous views without great effort. Lots of tree roots that will tire your feet but not a strenous hike overall: ~5 miles roundtrip
- Perfect taste of the breathtaking Oregon coast