(This excerpt is from
the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce website
where you will find an abundance of information about Tillamook and the
The Three Capes Scenic Drive
The meandering drive follows a 40 mile route from its northern end. Head west on Third Street in Tillamook (Hwy 131), turn right after crossing the Tillamook River onto Bayocean Road. You will skirt the southern edge of Tillamook Bay, looking across the water toward Bay City and Garibaldi as you drive toward Cape Meares. The bay, which has many commercially harvested oyster beds, is a vital habitat for much of the county's fish and wildlife. When you reach the Bayocean dike road, don't miss reading the signs which tell you the brief story of the ghost community, now gone, that existed there in the early 1900s. You may see fishermen angling for trout and bass on Cape Meares Lake just in front of The Cape House at Bayocean.
Continuing past the house and turning left from the lake, the road is closed 1 mile up the Loop Road. There is some chance that the route to the entrance to Cape Meares State Park will open again in the future. For now, the route is closed. To reach the Lighthouse, drive back and go through Netarts and Oceanside. Within easy walking distance from the Cape Meares parking lot is the legendary Octopus Tree, a Sitka spruce that sends six huge trunks into the sky. Also in the vicinity are coastal seabird nesting areas that are part of a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Preserve.
Cape Meares Light House
Returning south on the Three Capes Scenic Route, you will encounter the turnoff to Oceanside, a small coastal village that is a popular stopping place with vacationers. Just offshore from Oceanside are the Three Arch Rocks. On most spring and summer weekends, you will see hang gliders riding the winds above the rocks until they finally land on the beach. Three Arch Rocks was declared a National Wildlife Refuge in the early 1900s by President Theodore Roosevelt. It is the home for many types of bird life and an area frequented by sea lions.
The next stop is Netarts Bay, three miles south of Oceanside, considered on of the best coastal locales for clamming and crabbing. The scenic route then takes you on a winding drive that moves inland in spots and then to Cape Lookout, another state park, which has camping facilities near the beach. Trails and viewpoints are abundant.
Cape Lookout State Park encompassed nearly every geologic and natural feature found along the Oregon Coast. The park was named for Cape Lookout, a rocky headland extending one and three-quarter miles into the ocean. An overnight camp is located in a typical coastal rain forest.
North Oregon Coast looking south with Cape Lookout in far background
A rolling, gently sloping beach provides an ideal setting for ocean activities. Continuing on up the hill you will find a parking lot which is the trailhead to some nicely wooded trails that offer splendid views of the ocean and beaches. Take a five mile round-trip hike to the tip of Cape Lookout or a two and a half mile stroll down to the beach.
Continue on the Three Capes Scenic Drive and you will pass some of the Sandlake Sand Dunes, continue for several miles and you will come to Cape Kiwanda State Park. Cape Kiwanda is the smallest of the three capes, but it's one of the best places to experience spectacular wave action.
Continue through Pacific City for a few miles and you will come back to Highway 101, thus finishing this scenic tour and the bicycle route.
Munson Creek Falls
The highest waterfall in the Oregon Coast Range: Few visitors to the Oregon Coast even notice the small sign marking the road to Munson Creek Falls, just south of Tillamook on U.S. Highway 101. But the short walk to this 266 foot waterfall makes a worthwhile detour in any weather. Hikers can choose between two well-marked trails. The 1/4 mile path to the base of the falls ends at a picnic table. The other, a 3/8 mile trail to a higher view point, is more fun; wooden walkways clinging to the cliff lead to a small viewing platform. Because rainfall seems to concentrate there, the vegetation in this narrow gorge is exceedingly lush. From Tillamook, drive south about 7 miles on U.S. 101, turn east at the sign to Munson Creek Falls and continue 1 1/2 miles.