One of the scenic highlights of the Three Capes route , Cape Lookout juts out nearly a mile from the mainland, like a finger pointing out to sea. The cliffs along the south side of the cape rise 800 feet from the Pacific’s pounding waves. The best way to take in the vista and the thrill of the location is on foot.
At the southern end of Netarts Spit is the campground and beach extension of expansive Cape Lookout State Park (13000 Whiskey Creek Rd. W., 503/842-4981 for information, 800/452-5687 or www.reserveamerica.com  for reservations), which also encompasses the entire cape and the seven-mile-long Netarts Spit within its boundaries.
The park has 173 tent sites ($16) and 38 full-hookup sites ($20), as well as 13 yurts ($27), three cabins (with bathrooms, a kitchen, and a TV/VCR, $66), and a hiker-biker camp ($4); discounts apply October–April. Amenities include showers, flush toilets, and evening programs. Reservations and a deposit are almost always needed at this popular campground.
South of Cape Lookout, the terrain suddenly changes. Extensive sand dunes surrounding the Sand Lake estuary suddenly appear, drowning the forest in sand. The dunes and beach attract squadrons of dune buggy enthusiasts.
Camping is available year-round at Sand Beach Campground (5 miles south of Cape Lookout on Galloway Rd., 503/392-3161 or 877/444-6777, $16, reservations at www.recreation.gov ), a part of the Siuslaw National Forest, with has basic sites for tenters and RVs. This dramatic area is also popular with hikers.