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Cape Kiwanda's Wilder Sides in Images: Killer Oregon Coast Sights

Published 06/01/22 at 11:25 PM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Cape Kiwanda's Wilder Sides in Images: Killer Oregon Coast Sights

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(Pacific City, Oregon) - Jutting out from the southern end of Pacific City, there's a comparatively small headland that is a land loaded with secrets and wowing finds. Its golden, wind-chiseled features are craggy and alien in many spots, giving way to one wild discovery after another. There's not just killer views on the north Oregon coast's Cape Kiwanda, there's an astounding array of shapes, colors and even sounds up here.(Photos Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

Initially, you walk up a fairly steep incline of about thirty feet of loose sand that can really put some cramps in your legs. It's a workout. Yet this strenuous patch is well worth it: Cape Kiwanda is an endless trove of visual treasures. It all begins with the viewpoints on the southern side you've just trekked up, with the beachfront spreading out forever to the south. Various browns, yellows and shades of gold dot the landscape in increasingly stranger forms up here, including some of the wild delights and otherworldly places that are tucked out of view a bit and take some exploring to find.


Just below this main part of the headland there's a little cove with some odd surprises, including a small but long crack that occasionally squirts up ocean water out of nowhere. It's a kick to watch.


There's much that changed about Cape Kiwanda in the last two years, including the configurations of the fencing. This little surprise crack in the rock and its cove are a one area that's always been fenced off. Don't hop the fence and go down there: daredevils have done just that and died. A few years back, Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) had to deal with so many deaths in this spot they had a special session to figure out new preventative measures.

Wander further to the north along this striking Oregon coast landmark and you'll find a host of viewpoints where you can see the irregular shapes and colors of the features where you've just been. Parts let you look down at remarkably complex shapes just to the west of the cape. Chunks of it have long been disconnected from the parent Kiwanda and now form oddball thin but tall islands next to it.


There are other, numerous coves in view here, where enormous waves slam against the grand, gold structures with dramatic intensity no matter what the weather.

Whatever you do, if it's a sunny day, make sure to come around sunset. It lights up those golden cliffs and turns them into bright oranges or yellows, making them glow in an unforgettable way.

Then there's always the top of the enormous dune that hovers above the eastern portion of Cape Kiwanda, where kids of all ages enjoy running up to the top and then sliding down on boards, sleds or even tumbling down, literally rolling themselves down the steep hill.

The manmade fencing here can create its own wonders. If the wind blows just right, it zips through the holes in the metal tubing and makes an unusual howling/whistling noise.

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