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Cape Kiwanda's Parking Closes Until July, Cutting Off Access for Many to Oregon Coast Landmark

Published 3/27/24 at 1:15 p.m.
B
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

(Pacific City, Oregon) – UPDATED MARCH 27, 2024:

NOTE: new parking options are now available along the roadside near Cape Kiwanda, behind one of the hotels, and the southern-facing lot at Doryland Pizza. See https://www.discoverpacificcity.com/parking. While much of this article is still relevant, the parking has been expanded as of late March.

One of the Oregon coast's biggest attractions will become almost inaccessible later this week, as Tillamook County shuts down the large parking lot next to Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City as part of a massive construction project. Cape Kiwanda itself will be open – but parking nearby will be all but impossible for a few months, likely into July. (All photos Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

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According to Tillamook County and Visit Tillamook Coast, the parking lot shutdown starts Monday, March 4 but should open up before Fourth of July. The lot itself will go under the knife, according to Tillamook County's Brook Wyntergreen Olsen.

The work is a part of the Kiwanda Corridor Project, which will add numerous ease-of-access features to Cape Kiwanda Drive and the surrounding area of the north Oregon coast town.

Complete Guide: Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area

“The project team is beginning to work on the south side of the parking lot earlier than previously scheduled,” Olsen told Oregon Coast Beach Connection. “They will be digging up the lot to install utilities including the new extensive stormwater system.”

Construction equipment will also be parked there, taking up plenty of space.

Unless you're up for a considerable hike, you won't find the cape accessible. There's a fair amount of parking (55 spots) about half a mile away, and the other available parking areas are each at least a mile away. It's expected to tie up traffic on busy days as well, as cars search desperately for a closer access point.

Parking Areas Available:

Nestucca Valley Community Alliance Skatepark is a ten-minute walk to the cape.

Bob Straub State Park has 60 parking spots available and is right on the beach, but a mile walk to the cape.

Pacific City Turnaround is at the south end of Cape Kiwanda Drive and Pacific, with only 20 stalls and just over a mile away.

Pacific City Boat Launch at 35765 Sunset Dr. is well over a mile from the attraction, and it is confusingly called Tillamook County Boat Launch on Google Maps.

Visit Tillamook Coast said there will be plenty of signage during the shutdown, including a digital sign that can change messages.


“Wording will be made clear that the parking lot is closed but safe public access to the beach is still available,” Olsen said.

Visit Tillamook Coast said there will be a shuttle trolley starting Memorial Weekend in May, which will operate Friday, Saturday and Sunday each week through September.

“The trolley operates all day and takes passengers as far north as Sitka Sedge State Park and Whalen Island County Park, and as far south and east as Brooten Road, where many shops and restaurants are located,” the agency said.

Public access to the beach and cape will be maintained, as will the boat launch at Dorymen's Way. However, the county will make some room during spring break, allowing limited parking at the cape in late March.

Still, officials there urge those staying in Pacific City to remain parked by their room and walk.

“If staying overnight, we suggest you remain parked at the lodging property during your stay, and walk to the various restaurants, shops and markets,” said Nan Devlin, executive director of Visit Tillamook Coast. “While the alternative lots may be busy on weekends, during the week there will be plenty of available parking space.”

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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