• Cape Kiwanda is the smallest cape on the Three Capes Scenic Loop
• Pacific City is the home of the dory fleet
Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area in Pacific City is a must-stop location on the Oregon Coast. Picturesque sandstone cliffs, towering dunes, a sandy shoreline, panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, and clear-blue deep waters attract local visitors and travellers. Kiwanda Beach is a wide sand beach extending four miles south from the base of the cape to the mouth of the Nestucca River. This is the southernmost and the smallest cape on the Three Capes Scenic Loop.
The most notable landmark of Cape Kiwanda area is 320-foot-high Haystack Rock, also known as Chief Kiwanda Rock or Teacup Rock. This volcanic monolith, sittings about a mile offshore, is one of the three Haystack Rocks on the Oregon Coast. The most famous Haystack Rock, located at Cannon Beach, is approximately 100 feet lower. The third one is accessible through Devils Kitchen Wayside at Bandon.
The northern part of Kiwanda Beach is great for all beach activities including, hiking, jogging, fat-tire biking, and horseback riding. During low tide, you can see a kaleidoscope of ocean flora and fauna 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 the beach entrance for motor vehicles for launching and retrieving boats. All other street legal-vehicles are allowed on the beach from Pacific Avenue south to Porter Point.
Climbing Up to the Top of a Huge Dune
The sandstone headland with 250-foot-high dunes, Cape Kiwanda and its adjacent shoreline is a trendy spot for outdoor enthusiasts in the summer months and much less crowded in winter. You can climb up the steep huge dune to enjoy the stunning vista of Haystack Rock, colorful sandstone cliffs, caves, crevices, and the the endless ocean stretching to the horizon. Eroded by waves and winds, the sandstone rock formation is extremely fragile. So, it is dangerous to go beyond the fence.
During summer, the cape is popular among hang-gliders and kite flyers.
Surfing and Boating
The headland creates a natural harbor sheltering it 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. It take place in mid-September annually.
Dory Boat Fishing
Kiwanda Beach is the home of the dory fleet. Dories are flat-bottom, shallow-draft boats and can be launched right from the sand.
Dory fishing is a century-old tradition of the Pacific City. It was such a common practice that in the 60s and 70s, the city became one of the most significant salmon fishing ports in the entire state! Initially, boats were moved by oars but later became motorized.
Currently, recreational fishermen run most dories. A few commercial ones still supply salmon, Dungeness crab, ocean bottom fish, and other catch to local restaurants.
On the third weekend of July, Dory Days Festival celebrates Pacific City's fleet.
One of the biggest highlights of the area is a Pelican Pub & Brewery sitting right at the upper beachhead. Enjoy a craft cold one with a fantastic view, including Kiwanda Cream Ale!
Pelican Brewery commemorates the dory culture with Doryman's Dark Ale.
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.
Lodging & Camping
The Pacific City offers a plenty of accommodations. The best option is Inn at Cape Kiwanda. All rooms face a 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, check Hart's Camp Airstream Hotel & RV park, Webb County Campground, or Cape Kiwanda RV Park.
Cape Kiwanda | General Description
Managed by: Oregon State Park
Amenities: Restrooms, picnic tables
Activities: Beachcombing, fishing, surfing, kayaking, horseback riding, hiking, tidepool exploring, & nature viewing
Day-use fees: Yes
Usage: Moderate to High
Accommodations: Lodging in Pacific City
Cape Kiwanda is located:
- 24 miles southwest of Tillamook
- 95 miles southwest of Portland.
Rent RV or List Your RV on Outdoorsy
You can rent a RV vehicle through Outdoorsy - a trusted RV rentals web platform.
List Your RV for Rent on Outdoorsy
Directions to Cape Kiwanda
From Pacific City,
- Take Cape Kiwanda Drive north
- Turn left onto Ridge Road then turn right.