Cape Kiwanda

• Cape Kiwanda is the smallest cape on the Three Capes Scenic Loop
• Pacific City is home of the Dory Fleet

FishingSurfingPhotographingTidepool ExploringHiking Oregon

Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area, nestled in Pacific City, stands as an essential destination along the Oregon Coast. Its breathtaking sandstone cliffs, majestic dunes, expansive sandy shores, and sweeping vistas of the Pacific Ocean, adorned with its crystal-clear, deep blue waters, captivate visitors from both nearby and distant locales.

Kiwanda Beach, a sprawling expanse of sandy terrain, stretches four miles southward from the cape's foundation to the mouth of the Nestucca River. Positioned as the southernmost and the most diminutive cape along the Three Capes Scenic Loop, Cape Kiwanda offers a unique coastal experience.

The most notable landmark of the Cape Kiwanda area is the 320-foot-high Haystack Rock, also known as Chief Kiwanda Rock or Teacup Rock. About a mile offshore, this volcanic monolith is one of the three Haystack Rocks on the Oregon Coast. The most famous Haystack Rock is the one at Cannon Beach, and it is approximately 100 feet lower. The third Rock is accessible through Devils Kitchen Wayside at Bandon.

The northern part of Kiwanda Beach suits well for all beach activities, including hiking, jogging, fat-tire biking, and horseback riding. During low tide, you can see a kaleidoscope of oceanic flora and fauna in and at the tidepools near the rocks. Winter storms move large volumes of sand, revealing the treasure underneath and creating a perfect beachcombing environment.

Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area is accessible from Cape Kiwanda County Park. The county park has a large parking area and a beach entrance for motor vehicles launching and retrieving boats. All other street-legal vehicles are allowed on the beach from Pacific Avenue south to Porter Point.

Pacific City Lodging & Camping

Pacific City offers plenty of accommodation options. Inn at Cape Kiwanda is a fantastic choice. All rooms face the beach, Cape Kiwanda, and Haystack Rock.

Headlands Coastal Lodge and Spa nearby provides luxury spa getaways.

If you prefer more simple accommodations in cabins or RVs, please check Hart's Camp Airstream Hotel & RV park, Webb County Campground, or Cape Kiwanda RV Park.

Affordable vacation rentals for short and long term stay at Pacific City

Cape Kiwanda
Dune Climbing
Cape Kiwanda
Beach Access Point
Cape Kiwanda Vista
Cape Kiwanda Vista
Cape Kiwanda Tide Pools
Cape Kiwanda Tide Pools
Cape Kiwanda
Haystack Rock

Cape Kiwanda: Things to Do in Pacific City

Cape Kiwanda Dune Climbing

Cape Kiwanda and the adjacent shoreline is a sandstone headland with 250-foot-high dunes. The landscape makes it a trendy spot for outdoor enthusiasts during the summer months. Winter months tend to be much less crowded, though. You can climb up the enormous steep dune to enjoy the stunning vista of Haystack Rock, colorful sandstone cliffs, caves, crevices, and the endless ocean stretching to the horizon. It is a great exercise too!

Eroded by waves and winds, the sandstone rock formation is exceptionally fragile. Do NOT go beyond the fence!

During summer, the cape is also popular among hang-gliders and kite flyers.

Surfing and Boating

The headland creates a natural harbor sheltered from strong ocean waves and extreme winds. Relatively calm waters south of the cape offer opportunities for numerous water activities, including surf fishing, surfing, windsurfing, kayaking, boating, and paddleboarding. The beach hosts a Cape Kiwanda Longboard Classic surf contest and the Brewfest. Both take place annually, around mid-September.

Dory Boat Fishing

Kiwanda Beach is home to the Dory Fleet. Dories are flat-bottom, shallow-draft boats that can be launched right from the sand.

Dory fishing is a century-old tradition of Pacific City. It was such a common and widespread practice that in the 1960s and 1970s, the city became one of the most important salmon fishing ports in the entire state! Initially, boats were moved by oars but later got motorized.

Currently, recreational fishermen run most dories. A few remaining commercial boats supply salmon, Dungeness crab, ocean bottom fish, and other seafood to the local restaurants.

Pacific City celebrates its dory fleet every third weekend of July at the Dory Days Festival.

Pelican Pub & Brewery

One of the area's biggest highlights is the Pelican Pub & Brewery, sitting right at the upper beachhead. Enjoy a cold craft (Kiwanda Cream Ale inclusive) with a view!

Pelican Brewery also offers Doryman's Dark Ale to commemorate the area’s dory culture.

Many restaurants, bars, and eateries are located at or near Cape Kiwanda. In addition to Pelican, Dory Pizza is right across the street, with even more options in town.

Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area | Facts

Open: Year-round
Managed by: Oregon State Parks

Amenities: Restrooms
Activities: Beachcombing, fishing, surfing, kayaking, horseback riding, hiking, tidepool exploring, & nature viewing

Day-use fees: There is a $10 parking fee for the county parking lot
Usage: Moderate to High

Cape Kiwanda is located:

  • 24 miles southwest of Tillamook
  • 95 miles southwest of Portland.

Adventures Nearby

Directions to Cape Kiwanda

From Pacific City,

  • Take Cape Kiwanda Drive north
  • Turn left onto Ridge Road, then turn right.

Get Google Maps Directions

You May Also Like

Attention, Fellow Beachgoers!

Unfortunately, our beautiful Pacific Northwest beaches are stained with trash, especially plastic. We at Oregon Discovery, as well as other unaffiliated groups of nature lovers, made a commitment to do our part in keeping our beaches clean, but we need your help too!

Whenever you go out to enjoy nature at your favorite spot, please bring a trash bag or two and help us pick up garbage. Even picking up a little bit here and there will make a huge long-term difference.

Please help us save our beautiful nature for generations to come!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.