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UPDATE: Cape Kiwanda Parking Lot to Close for Months: Long Walk to N. Oregon Coast Icon

Update 3/28/24 at 5:45 p.m.
B
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

(Pacific City, Oregon) – UPDATED WITH NEW PARKING OPTIONS

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.

CLOSURE EXPLANATION - A major parking lot on the Oregon coast will close down for a few months, likely creating a sizable traffic headache. The main parking lot at Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City will close down March 4 and reopen sometime in July to accommodate equipment and a flurry of work on that access spot.

For most, the cape will be rather inaccessible now, about a mile walk from the majority of available parking areas.

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Tillamook County sent out a press release Wednesday through Visit Tillamook Coast, announcing the parking lot would be shut down to “accommodate construction and access improvements that are part of a larger Kiwanda Corridor Project.” A sizable amount of construction and improvement will be done on that parking lot and access, and equipment will be parked there.

Complete Guide: Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area

Visit Tillamook Coast said this closure will impact visitors and residents by not allowing one the busiest of accesses on the Oregon coast to be used, but there are a couple of parking areas nearby. None, however, give quick access to the cape.

You can use:

Nestucca Valley Community Alliance Skatepark (55 parking stalls; 10‐minute walk to Cape Kiwanda)

Bob Straub State Park (60 parking stalls with direct access to the beach). This is one mile from the cape, but the closest open parking area.

Pacific City Turnaround at the south end of Cape Kiwanda Drive at Pacific (20 parking stalls, direct access to the beach, and a short walk across the Beachy Bridge to shops and food). It is more than a mile from the cape.

The fourth is Pacific City Boat Launch at 35765 Sunset Dr., much farther south along the small road going through the Nestucca Spit. Warning: it is called Tillamook County Boat Launch on Google Maps - which is not correct. This is updated information provided to Oregon Coast Beach Connection through an earlier release.


All this construction work is part of the Kiwanda Corridor Project, a multi-million-dollar project to beautify and improve the main road through Pacific City, which will bring sidewalks, parks and pathways to this stretch of Oregon coast.

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.

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“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,” Visit Tillamook Coast said.

The Wave, the bus transit system operated by Tillamook County Transportation District, will also be available for travel to other points in Tillamook County. It also operates a route from Portland to Tillamook County. Check schedules here.

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 March.

Pacific City will put up more signage and “Getting Around” resource maps during the closure.

“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.”

Aside from enhancing the tourism experience in Pacific City, the Kiwanda Corridor Project will improve livability for residents. Construction work will fix some of the erosion issues at the access's boat ramp.

Visit Tillamook Coast said some of this project has been delayed due to road issues in the area.

“And recent weather-related road closures on Sandlake Road increased truck routes and caused delays in materials arriving on time, pushing the parking lot timetable into peak tourism season months,” Visit Tillamook Coast said.

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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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