Hiking Cape Lookout trail, Tillamook County, OR

November 8, 2007: Hiking Cape Lookout trail, Tillamook County, OR: Have you ever seen the wind blow straight up? You have a chance to see it happen on the Cape Lookout trail. Chris, Lucy (dog) and I were hiking the trail with a strong wind blowing out of the south. The wind was hitting the east/west cliff wall and sending streamers of fog flying straight up. It looked like a waterfall in reverse motion.

The trail meanders through a forest of giant spruce trees. Wind shrieked through tree limbs overhead. Branches rubbing together gave off banshee-like cries, moaning and groaning under the stress of the wind. Huge root wads of downed trees gave ample testimony to the power of the wind.

With the wind blowing fog through the trees the landscape takes on a bizarre quality. The fog condensed on the trees and dripped a rain of drops below.

Almanita muscaria
Mushroom Amanita muscaria Don’t nibble on this one. It is classified Poisonous…

Delicate ferns, mosses, and fungi thrive in the damp atmosphere so take your camera. Light levels are low under the canopy of the forest so additional flash lighting may be necessary.

The cape juts about two miles out into the ocean but the path zigzags making the walk to the viewpoint about two and a half miles. There are spectacular views available (if it isn’t foggy). Take your binoculars, you may see whales passing the tip of the cape. In places the trail edges along the cliffs making one wonder about the safety of trails like this one. I would hesitate to recommend it for small children or adults who are unsteady on their feet.

The parking lot is reported to be about 800 feet in elevation and the view point is about 400 feet above the ocean so if you hike the trail plan on an uphill climb when you return to the parking lot. Fortunately most of the trail is a gentle grade. Tree roots and rocks demand paying attention to where you place your feet. Take your time and enjoy the day.


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