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Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint: What You Don't Know About this Oregon Coast Icon

Published 02/02/2018 at 3:55 AM PDT - Updated 02/02/2018 at 11:45 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint: What You Don't Know About the Oregon Coast Landmark

(Oceanside, Oregon) – An “outstanding” outstanding headland if there ever was one, Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint, on the north Oregon coast, is as lovely as it is ancient. A short drive from Oceanside – via a stunning back road full of secret delights – it's a state park that packs a lot of wallop in a small space.

So much history. So much scenery. You could spend hours here and not get bored. In fact, if you wanted to fully explore it and all its hiking trails, it would eat up more than a day.

There's a lot of wild facts about this place that will surprise. Just how old is it, you ask? Oh, that's a loaded question - and a tad frightening answer. Then there's the fun facts about the lighthouse, the freaky tree that's famous, the zany connection to a cult religion, the mind-blowing World War 2 remnant and more. And did you know there are TWO Cape Meares? Keep checking out the links for the full story.


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Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint on North Oregon Coast Tells a Scary Geological Story.Looking at the massive cliff walls and their ragged features from the various viewpoints along Cape Meares is, understandably, one of the big pastimes at this amazing spot on the north Oregon coast. But if you know how to read it, a wild saga emerges.

Look at the myriad of layers embedded in the rocks here, and you see a world frozen in time from the Miocene period. These layers represent eons of massive lava flows that have piled on each other over millions of years, coming here from hundreds of miles away.

It all begins with a fiery situation over 15 million years ago, when a giant hole in the Earth’s crust spewed so much lava it scarred and seared its way across what was then Idaho and Eastern Oregon, until it reached the sea (which was several miles inland, perhaps as much as 75 miles east).

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An Oregon Coast Virtual Tour: Views from Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint. About 180 degrees of scenic eye candy explode around you at Cape Meares, the small headland that's also part primeval forest and part historic attraction. About 10 miles west of Tillamook, it sits along the Three Capes Route, at the northern tip of this 25-mile-long feast of the senses. ....MORE....


Curious History of Oceanside Part 2: WW II, Lighthouse on Oregon Coast. As Oceanside was just getting settled in the 1880's, just two miles up the road, the Cape Meares Lighthouse sprang into existence in 1890. It started construction a mere year or two earlier. Lugging the construction equipment and supplies on those then-primitive hillsides was quite an endeavor. In fact, building it cost almost $3,000 at the time (quite a fortune then). Most of the raw materials came from the cape and all the actual work was done on the spot.

Then, in the mid century, Ripley's Believe It or Not picked up on the existence of a weirdly shaped tree at Cape Meares that had eight remarkable, candelabra-like limbs. Called the Octopus tree, it had that famous spot in the book series until about the '80s. ....MORE.....


N. Oregon Coast Explorations: Welcome to the Other Cape Meares. About an hour south of Cannon Beach or ten minutes west of Tillamook, you'll find Cape Meares. But wait: which Cape Meares? If you're thinking of the one with the lighthouse, the one that sits a few hundred feet over a raging ocean and the one with the wacky Octopus Tree – you'd only be half right. There is a village called Cape Meares, tucked away beneath the north face of the famed headland with the same name, and at the southern end of the great sand spit that covers Tillamook Bay. ....MORE..... Pacific City Hotels, Lodging in this area - Where to eat - Maps and Virtual Tours

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