We drove the Three Capes road in October 2013. It is closed just north of Cape Meares lighthouse (the lighthouse is open), so the entire northern section is closed. It has been closed since January 2013.
Overall, there are probably only about 30% to 40% ocean views along this route. The few ocean viewpoints are spectacular, but there simply are not many of them. There is a nice stopping point along Netarts Bay.
But if you are looking for breathtaking views around every corner - you won't find them on this route. For that you need to drive Highway 101 along the southern Oregon coast south of Port Orford!
We drove from the south to the north. Pacific City is pleasant enough. If you have time, stop at the beach by the pub where there is a great view of "the other" Haystack Rock. Then the road goes inland. You'll see trees, but no ocean views.
The road goes up a hill, and you will get a sweeping view of Tierra del Mar. That is pretty but there are no turnouts to stop to enjoy it. We took a short side trip to Whalen Island and there are some nice views of the estuary from there.
The road again goes inland a bit, and the scenery is small farms, trees, pastures and houses scattered along the road. No ocean views.
Up a hill again and you reach the boundary of Cape Lookout State Park. If you go into the park itself, you will see the ocean and you can walk on the beach. There are hiking trails all through here. The road, though, is in trees until you reach . . .
Now this view is *spectacular*! The viewpoint is named in honor of Billy Anderson, Tillamook County surveyor. There is a brass plaque and surveyor tripod placed there.
Next, you'll see Netarts Bay. This is another one of the highlights of the route as the road goes right alongside the bay. We stopped at a turnout to enjoy the view and utilize the convenient porta-potty there.
From here, you'll go through tiny Netarts and then into Oceanside. Both are scenic. Oceanside has a nice day use park where we stopped and walked around a bit. The tide was high so we didn't try to go through the tunnel!
Oceanside is very compact and tight. If you are driving an RV of some sort, the day use park is okay for a smallish motorhome or pickup/small trailer, but there is *not* enough room for big rigs!
North of Oceanside, there are some nice views of the ocean, then you're back in the trees, going up the hill to Cape Meares. Once there, if you take the time to walk around, the views are gorgeous. You really can't see the ocean from the road, though.
The road is closed just a few feet north of the Cape Meares access road. So we turned around and drove south back to Netarts, then took Hwy 131 inland to Tillamook.
Is it worth it? Hard to say, but if you're driving all the way south along the coast, it would be a definite *no*, in my opinion. If you are visiting only the north coast, well, perhaps it's worth the couple of hours to drive it.
There is no estimated date as to when the road will be completely open again. The repairs will be extensive and expensive and most certainly will not even be started until late spring of 2014 at the earliest.
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