Plan Your Visit

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The Cape Meares headland affords panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean dotted with offshore rocks, some of which feature seabird and pinniped colonies in summer. Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge and Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge are easily sighted from the cape, making it the only viewpoint in the United States where three Refuges can be seen at one time. 


 

Directions

Cape Meares is near the town of Netarts. From Tillamook take 3rd Street/Netarts Highway to the West. From here you have two options:
 
  • Follow Netarts Highway through Netarts to the refuge
  • Take Bayocean Road to the refuge. Note: As of early 2015, landslide damage has closed Cape Meares Loop Road between Cape Meares Wildlife Refuge and the town of Cape Meares via Bayocean Road. Enter the refuge via State Road 131 out of 3rd Street in Tillamook or through Netarts by following the signs at Oceanside. 
Look for the sign for Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint. 
 

Hours & Fees

There are no fees for this refuge. 

The refuge is open year-round from sunrise to sunset and access is controlled by a gate at the beginning of the entrance road. There are two accessible viewing decks overlooking the nesting falcons and Three Arch Rocks Refuge.

The refuge does not have a visitor center. Friends of Cape Meares Lighthouse and Refuge runs a gift shop inside the lighthouse open April through October. 
 

Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint        

Cape Meares NWR is managed in cooperation with Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.  The park features tours of a 1890s lighthouse, the Sallie Jacobson Interpretive kiosk, and interpretive panels at key viewpoints. Go to the Oregon State Parks page for more information.
 

Weather & Tides

Weather on the coast is a mercurial thing. You can expect to experience temperatures ranging between 45 and 75 degrees; fog and high winds are common, as well as radiant sunshine. Rain is a perennial threat, so bring proper attire.
 
If you're visiting during the winter, expect rainy conditions. In summer, you may—may—experience nice and dry days. Check the forecast for current conditions.
    
Incoming tides isolate rocks from headlands and the shore. Avoid the temptation of strolling to an interesting rock without knowing the tides. Free tide tables are available at state park offices, information centers, shops and motels.

There are several resources online for tracking the tides; here's one good option. 
 

Pets

Dogs are permitted at Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint. For the protection of pets, wildlife and visitors, all pets are required to be on leash.

Please remember to keep your distance from wildlife resting on rocks and beaches. Also keep in mind that all migratory birds are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which applies to all migratory birds and their parts, including eggs, nests, and feathers. The act forbids the taking, killing, or possessing of any migratory bird or its parts.
 
For a surefire way to get closer to wildlife without undue disturbance, bring binoculars or a spotting scope. And don't forget the camera!