Cape Kiwanda

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Cape Kiwanda sign

Cape Kiwanda
State Natural Area

Pacific City, OR


45° 12′ 56.1″ N
123° 58′ 10.9″ W


I almost missed this stop along the 3 Capes Scenic Loop when I was staying at Cape Lookout State Park.  I didn’t make it here until the day before I left and I was just going to do a quick drive by, but ended up staying for hours to watch the sunset.

Cape Kiwanda beach

I was hooked from the moment I stepped onto the beach and started walking toward these dunes and cliff formation.

Cape Kiwanda cliffs

Just look how awesome they are up close with the orangey color and the holes!  I saw people had climbed the dunes to get a higher viewpoint, but I didn’t have that much energy at that point.

Cape Kiwanda tide

I hung out here for a while and watched the waves crash and the tidepools fill and drain – an endlessly fascinating occupation.

Cape Kiwanda cars on beach

I also thought it was interesting that people could just drive up and along the beach – those folks set up a volleyball game and looked to be having a blast.

Cape Kiwanda Pelican Pub & Brewery

The longer I stayed, the more I thought the sunset was going to be a good one, and the deal was clinched when I saw Pelican Pub & Brewery where I could get a micro-brew to sip beachside while I was waiting for the colors to deepen.  I ended up talking with some really cool people here who were residents but just as in awe of the beauty here as this visitor was.

Cape Kiwanda surfer sunset

I watched this surfer for a while and also a couple on the beach throwing a ball for their dog who never got tired of it but it pooped me out just watching him.

Cape Kiwanda sunset 1

I loved catching the sun in the hole made by the “handle” of this Haystack Rock.  When I was posting pictures to Facebook as I was there people were guessing I was at Canon Beach since apparently there is a similar rock there with the same name.

Cape Kiwanda Sunset 2

As I moved to the side and the sun sank further on the horizon, I couldn’t decide which view I liked better.

Cape Kiwanda sunset 3

By this time I started walking back to my car so I wouldn’t have to drive home in the dark, but it sure was tempting to go ask if I could join these folks at their fire.

It’s a little shaky, but I’m still glad I caught the video with the sounds and the sight of the gentle waves lapping up to my feet:

1:42 min. YouTube video

More Info:

Three Capes Scenic Route: Along with Cape Meares and Cape Lookout, Cape Kiwanda is part of this 40 mile route. Kiwanda is the smallest of the three, but for the beach and wave action, it was my favorite.

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