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Cape Meares
National Wildlife Refuge

photo of Oregon's biggest spruce
10 miles west of Tillamook on the Three Capes Scenic Route
Tillamook County, OR   
E-mail: oregoncoast@fws.gov
Phone Number: 541-867-4550
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
Oregon's biggest spruce
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Cape Meares National Wildlife Refuge

Cape Meares Refuge is located on a small headland just south of Tillamook Bay on the northern Oregon coast. It is adjacent to the Pacific Ocean and Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint.

Designated as a research natural area in 1987, it protects one of the few remaining stands of coastal old growth forest in Oregon. The Sitka spruce and western hemlock forest provides habitat for a diversity of wildlife, including threatened species such as northern spotted owls, bald eagles, and marbled murrelets.

Vertical sea cliffs provide nesting habitat for peregrine falcons and thousands of seabirds such as Brandt's and pelagic cormorants, common murres, tufted puffins, pigeon quillemots, western gulls, and black oystercatchers. Migrating loons, grebes, and flocks of shorebirds, and waterfowl are also commonly observed.

Marine mammals, including California and Stellar's sea lions, harbor seals, and gray whales can often be seen from this overlook. The Oregon Coast Trail runs through the refuge, connecting the community of Cape Meares with the refuge.

Two fully accessible wildlife viewing decks provide visitors with an overview of the Cape Meares' visitors are able to see three National Wildlife Refuges and two National Wilderness areas from a single spot!

Getting There . . .
Cape Meares Refuge is approximately 10 miles west of Tillamook on the Three Capes Scenic Route. When approaching Tillamook on U.S. Highway 101, follow signs for the Three Capes Scenic Route and the town of Oceanside. Turn west into a small graveled parking lot to access the trailhead at the entrance to Cape Meares.

Click here for a map of the refuge.

Get Google map and directions to this refuge/WMD from a specified address:

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These driving directions are provided as a general guide only. No representation is made or warranty given as to their content, road conditions or route usability or expeditiousness. User assumes all risk of use.

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Wildlife Observation
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Management Activities
All of Cape Meares Refuge except the Oregon Coast Trail was designated a Research Natural Area (RNA) in 1987. This designation requires that natural processes are allowed to continue without management interference from humans. The refuge is monitored to ensure that these values are not compromised. Activities on RNAs are limited to research, study, observation, monitoring, and educational activities that are non-destructive, non-manipulative, and maintain unmodified conditions. RNA designation for the refuge was awarded to showcase the Sitka spruce forest and coastal shrublands of the area. The refuge was further considered an important site in the RNA program as it represents the most northerly stand of old growth Sitka spruce remaining along the Oregon coast.

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