Photos by Cheryl Landes
Rising 200 feet above the Pacific Ocean, Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint near Tillamook, Oregon, is a fantastic place to see wildlife and enjoy views of the Pacific Ocean. It has one of the heaviest populated colonies of seabirds on the North American continent. Among the many birds you can see here are common murres, which have a nesting colony, and bald eagles. You might even see some peregrine falcons, because they have nested here.
This viewpoint is a great place to see the whales migrations in the winter and summer. Also in the summer, you might see the resident seals and sea lions and hear them barking.
Three miles of hiking trails wind through old-growth spruce trees and an octopus tree. Another quarter-mile trail from the turnoff at the park’s entrance ends at the largest Sitka spruce tree in Oregon.
Another highlight is the Cape Meares Lighthouse, built in 1890. The lighthouse is open from May through September for self-guided tours.
Today’s tour features a walk to the lighthouse, which is less than a quarter mile from the parking lot, and views from outside the lighthouse. The lighthouse was closed the day I was here, and the weather was a combination of sun and clouds.