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.
The beach was great and is only a few minutes walk from the campground. You are allowed two cars per campground and any extra have to park in an external lot and pay an extra $8. You are given a map and the staff were nice. We had a big group and they were accomodating. Firewood can be bought and a vehicle drives around asking if you want to pay for more.
The space isn't a whole lot but it does come with a firepit and a picnic table and are separated pretty well by foliage. We did have crows who ripped open bags of food and a family of raccoons ate and dispersed wrappers of a good portion of a friend's food. Apparently the raccoons prefer regular oreos over vanilla oreos so keep that in mind :). It was a great experience though and highly recommend it for the beach access.
We stayed in a yurt (my first time). It was great. It had heat and electricity! Campground was very clean!
This campsite offered a nice amount of space, but it wasn’t as private as some of the others on our trips (no tree coverage at our site). It was very quiet here though, and it was easy not to really notice anyone else, even though several people were there camping. Our site was right behind the dune/wall blocking the campsite from the beach. It was maybe a 1 minute walk. The beach was very nice and peaceful. Our particular site was a little bit further from the restroom (maybe just a 2 min walk), but these showers were the best of the three on our trip. It had a stall with a bench and hooks before you walked into the shower (so two doors, like there was a mini changing room). They seemed clean but still wore flip flops.
We stayed in a cabin overlooking the beach. Build a fire at night, watch the stars and listen to the waves crashing in. The cabin was small, a little cramped with 4 adults but is was comfortable and had a little kichen and bath with shower. It is pretty private as well. You need to bring your own linens. Scenic hiking all along the area, Cape Meares is nearby as is Tillamook Cheese Factory, always fun to stop in. Cabins book months ahead and price was reasonable, but you have to plan for it.
We camped in tents over the weekend at the end of April, and we loved it there! It was such a short walk to the beach and you could hear the waves when you're going to sleep! Look up the tides tho, since there's such a short beach to the water, during high tide the beach disappears. But we used that time to go on a nice hike part of the way to cape lookout overlook instead which is right there as well. We also rented the meeting hall in C loop, and we were really impressed with the space! It had tables, chairs, a gas stove, kitchen sink, small fridge, microwave, outlets, and lots of counter space! It was so nice for a big group like ours. Such a great place to enjoy nature without the need to drive to the beach.
LOVE this campground! I could spend a month on the beach all day every day and not be done with it! Playground, close to stores and heritage/tourist sites.
My parents used to bring me here often (we were camping here the day Mt St Helens blew), and now I bring mine!
Really awesome spot, short walk to the beach, all spots were large and private!
Great day and night at Cape Lookout! This campground is just over the dunes from the beach and has a backdrop of giant spruce and pine trees to the east. Spacious grassy sites with fire ring and picnic table. Very clean bathrooms with free hot showers.
Go for a hike to the end of Cape Lookout (trailhead just 2.5 miles up the road). Enjoy your morning coffee and walk along the beach.
*it was very quiet in October, but I was told by a ranger that it is super packed in the summer. Reservations available online.
Looking for a great spot where you can camp and hear the waves this is it. I went in the cooler time so it was pretty empty which was nice. Still pretty foresty though has yurts as well. Nice facilities and a short walk to the beach. Also a great place to start before doing the cape lookout hike. Seems like a place that would be busy in summer.
In brief: quieter campground, good for families, small groups, dog owners and hikers.
If you love being lulled to sleep by the sound of waves, this is your spot. The Pacific ocean sang us to sleep each night.
But enough poetics, this is one of the comfiest beach access campgrounds within an hour-ish of Portland. Large tent sites leave plenty of room for you to bring a buddy or to pop out extra lawn chairs.
When we were there the only showers available were over in the RV area but they were clean, private and warm - car camping jackpot! We saw the park staff cleaning the restroom at regular intervals and there was always toilet paper. Fire rings have grill bars on top for hotdogs and that perfect baked potato.
There are always lots of dogs here and while the rangers try to get everyone to keep their pups on leash in camp, be prepared for a surprise sniff or two. Plenty of firewood for sale - and the ecological importance of not bringing your own is pretty big unless you live nearby.
In the summer months expect kids to be riding their bikes and scooting through the park loop Dawn to dusk but at least they are outside!
We've been here in the winter months and it is much quieter, if a cloudy day is your thing then that's a good time for you to go as well.
We always scout out the whole grounds for future trips and take notes on our favorite spots, I'll include some of those below:
55 and 54 spacious private
42 full shade lots of trees full shade smaller Camp pad
32 Shady Tree filled has a climbing log. Room for multiple tents privacy longer driveway
27 much wider cement pad room for at least three tents 26 right next door both pretty open and connected
67 has hammock trees and room from multiple tents.
Backside of D loop will be great for summer heat