Cape Kiwanda's Clandestine Next Door Neighbors, N. Oregon Coast
Published 11/14/2015 at 4:15 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff
(Pacific City, Oregon) – For two decades now, it's been the Oregon coast's fastest growing cities. So much so, it has maxed out. But for all its scintillating pleasures and wonders - including Cape Kiwanda's golden, strangely sculpted cliffs – there's even more to the area than meets the eye.
A mere mile to the north, Cape Kiwanda State Park is still a bit clandestine. Look for an unmarked road on the west side of the highway, and at the bottom you'll find a fairly untouched section of beach with interesting views of the other side of Cape Kiwanda.
Here, a host of blackened rocks jut upwards from the sand, looking a bit like the charred ruins of some Roman column-like structure. They cap a small headland here, which protrudes from the vegetation line, which can create awesome shelter from the wind.
Continue walking north – almost a mile – and you'll encounter that mysterious northern tip of Cape Kiwanda, arguably one of the most strangely beautiful places along the entire Oregon coast. A kind of oceanic canyon suddenly opens up there, where you can watch waves careen and bounce between the weirdly-shaped semi-spires of sandstone.
This is one of the few stretches of Oregon beaches you can drive your car on, although this is not encouraged. It dirties up the sands and creates numerous unpleasant oily patches.
Heading the other direction, towards Neskowin and Lincoln City, a truly secret spot hides behind rolling hills that look out towards the Pacific.
About two miles south of the Highway 101/Pacific City junction, you'll find a real clandestine gem in the form of Winema Beach. It's an intriguing mixture of a rock climber's paradise and a playground of endless sand.
On Highway 101, between MP 94 and Oretown, Winema Road sits inconspicuously on the west side. Once there, you'll find all sorts of oddities in the cliffs - most notably the giant rock structure plopped in the middle of the tide line. It too is perfect for climbing, with a tiny patch of grass welcoming you at its top.
Head another mile or so north along this beach and you'll reach some very secretive areas of the Nestucca Bay. More on the areas north of Pacific City at the Three Capes Virtual Tour, Map. More on Winema Beach at the Lincoln City, Neskowin Virtual Tour, Map.
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