There are three different trails that you can Hike at Cape Lookout. The first one I ever hiked, and the one I usually hike is called the Cape Trail. Now these aren't down at the state campground, they're a mile or so past it at the Cape Lookout Trailhead.
Three Trails at Cape Lookout
- Cape Trail
- North Trail
- South Trail
Until very recently, I thought that only one of the trails led to the beach, that's incorrect however, the Cape Trail also leads to a small section of pretty private beach. The first half of the trail is pretty doable. I weigh about 360 now, and have done the trail when I weighed 400+ pounds. I take a lot of breaks, and on the way back, which is uphill, I've used an inhaler. It's workout let me tell ya! But keep in mind if you're interested in doing this hike, you don't have to do the whole hike the first time. Each time just try to go a little further than last time, and discover a little more than you did before. The views are totally worth it. In fact, this hike has spoiled me for so many others. I require a view or I am just not interested.
So, we've covered that... I love this trail for it's amazing view! I've actually mapped out the first half for you on MapMyFitness So you can get an idea of the elevation and such. If your'e not familiar with MapMyFitness, it's an app you can get on Android or iPhone, it tracks where youve been, how many steps you took, the speed in which you walk a mile, a bunch of neato little stats. It's a battery sucker though, as are most apps that use your location. If I could just get a phone to stay alive while running MapMyFitnes, allowing me to film, and listen to Pandora via headphones at the same time, and Play Pokemon, all without dying.... If only such a phone exsisted, AND .. was water proof (I mean hey! I might as well go for waterproof while I'm dreaming over here right?!)
Anyway, I was saying... The views are amazing, and it's so darn peaceful! I've hiked this one with my teenage son, with my then infant, now toddler granddaughter and my adult children. It's not exactly a stroller friendly hike, but on the first half, we've done it. I absolutely recommend a child-harness (this one's in my cart at Amazon!) or some sort of safety device if you're taking toddlers, perhaps a toddler backpack that you can carry them in. There are some pretty steep unobstructed cliffs on this trail.
Thankfully I had Malachai along, this last time, not the one in the video, but the trip right before that. My granddaughter Millie is 2, and she's usually such a good little hiker. She folds her little hands behind her back (that's her show of independence, they're back there to discourage hand-holding) and she tells everyone we pass "I'm on my walk". But this time, again I say, thank you Jesus for my son Malachai because I am not yet in shape to be chasing this girl all over the mountains. I did kind of jog with her down the trail at Kilchis Point Reserve though, that was lots of fun!
This normally afraid of heights and sweet walking and chatting granddaughter of mine took off like a crazy person, running down the trail, checking out the edge of cliffs, and throwing a fit if you tried to restrain her in anyway :O. Finally, I offered her her blanket, and my beautiful, sweet, wonderful granddaughter fell asleep in my arms. I carried her the mile back to the parking lot, and the hike was postponed. I did stop in the parking lot, while waiting to be picked up, and take a few selfies, I got a workout, guaranteed.
Anyway, once you arrive at the TrailHead, you're going to choose the Cape Trail. It's the most straight and obvious of the trails. There's signage there, so just follow that. Before you head off however, if you're not prepared to use the forest facilities, there are two porta-potties in the parking lot. There will be no other man-made options on this hike. As with all public hiking places, lock your cars, don't leave any valuables, etc. I suggest learning some basic stretches before you go on too many hikes. That's of course up to you, as I'm no expert, just a girl that tends to injure her achilles heel if she doesn't stretch it often and a lot.
The first part of the trail is pretty much a gentle downhill stroll. You're walking through the forest, sort of out onto a peninsula, that is leading you out into the ocean, so eventually, you'll be able to stand i dunno, a hundred, 200, 300 feet above the ocean, and look back on the waves as they crash against the beach. The view is as close to being in a boat on the ocean as you're going to be, without getting into a boat. ,
You will ooo and you will awww at the scenery, the old growth trees, some really neat looking weird trees here n there, and, I may have mentioned, that breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean.
There are some great places on this hike to take some pretty neat'o selfies. You'll go downhill quite a bit, and then you'll go up a good sized hill. You can check most of that out between the MyMyFitness image above, and the video's though. All in all, it's a 5 mile hike. I never think to bring much more than a pack full of water. However, a camelpack, or a backpack full of snacks and drinks isn't a terrible idea.
There's also a little bit of history on this hike. Today actually, as I'm writing this, on August 1st but in 1943, in the middle of World War II, B-17F flying fortress #42-30326 was traveling north up the coast on a what was to be routine patrol flight. Having left Pendleton Field, near Pendleton Oregon, at 0900 the plane was to fly to Cape Disappointment which is also located on the Oregon Coast. They were then to fly 500 miles out to sea, followed by a direct flight back to Pendleton Field. It was the crew's last mission before a quick 2 week furlough, followed by deployment overseas.
The crew arrived at the coast and found the entire area hidden in the overcast which extended to an elevation of 8000 feet. The pilot decided try locating Cape Disappointment by flying beneath the overcast. The overcast proved to reach almost to the level of the sea. The plane was flying at about 50-150 feet above the waves. Deciding that the risk was too great the crew began to climb back up into the overcast. Unfortunately, the plane crashed into the side of Cape Lookout at about 900 feet in elevation. - Source: Oregon Hikers
Once you get to the part of the trail where you're looking at the ocean, and it seems like the end, there's actually kind of a U Turn. The trail gets REALLY rough from here, but don't take my word for it... watch the video and see what Malachai and I saw. You'll see us fall, and hike to far in the dark, you'll see us bonding, and just being plain old silly. It's a lot of fun really! Let us know what you think, if it's positive. If you hate it, kindly zip up your lips and move on :).