hike: Netarts Spit
Netarts Spit is a long beach hike at Cape Lookout State Park, with the Pacific Ocean on one side, and Netarts Bay on the other.
distance: 11.2 miles (out and back)
elevation gain: 60 ft.
difficulty: difficult (due to length)
drive time from Portland: 2 hours
parking pass: Oregon State Parks Pass
hike description: OregonHikers.org – Netarts Spit hike
Begin the hike at Cape Lookout State Park’s day use area. Since part of the beach gets cut off during high tides, plan to do this hike at low tide. Follow an access trail to the beach, and head north for 5.5 miles to the end of the spit at the opening of Netarts Bay.
Along the beach, the bay is hidden from site by short dunes, but there are several areas along the dune to climb up for a view of the bay and Coastal Mountains behind it. To the north, the small beach communities of Oceanside and Netarts are visible.
About a half-mile off the coastline, Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge provides protection for more than 150 species of birds, including Oregon’s largest breeding colony of tufted puffins.
At the end of the spit where the ocean and the bay meet, the waves change direction, angling towards shore, splashing into small pools of water along the shoreline. At the tip of the cape, harbor seals sometimes gather to sun, and at low tides, the bay’s mud flats are a popular spot for clamming.
Return the same way.