Just north of Cape Kiwanda is another hidden gem of the Oregon coast – Cape Meares. The two scenic areas are part of the Three Capes Scenic Route, a 40-mile drive that also leads to Cape Lookout. At Cape Meares you’ll not only get breathtaking views of the coast but you can see Oregon’s shortest lighthouse and the one-of-a-kind Octopus Tree.
Cape Meares lies just off Highway 101, about ten miles west of Tillamook. The park is set on a forested headland over 200 feet above the ocean with a scenic viewpoint, historic lighthouse – which dates back to 1889 – along with 3+ miles of hiking trails.
At only 38 feet high, Cape Meares Light may not be large (or active anymore) but it sure is quite charming. The lighthouse is the shortest on the Oregon coast, and free to visit everyday from April through October with a gift shop in the old work room. They sell a fun, eclectic variety of keepsakes inspired by lighthouses, the sea, wildlife and wildflowers.
Near the lighthouse, an easy mile-long path through the woods leads to this weirdly-shaped Octopus Tree. Instead of a normal tree the massive Sitka Spruce has somehow grown 105 feet tall – and 46 feet in circumference – with limbs stretching out horizontally from the base like octopus tentacles. Nobody knows exactly how the tree grew the way it did, but the mystery has been debated for years. They can however estimate it’s roughly 250 to 300 years old.
In the winter and spring the site is a prime location to watch whale migrations. Whales can be seen and heard during the summer as well, along with sea lions and seals. Bald eagles, common murres and peregrine falcons have also been known to nest around here.
It’s like something out of a dream. For a closer look, check out this amazing video from David Cammack:
Wow! Cape Meares is so lovely. Have you been to this stunning area before?