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Major Oregon Coast Attraction Gets Cut Off to Most: Cape Kiwanda Parking Closes Until July

Published 3/03/24 at 6:15 a.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

(Pacific City, Oregon) – A major attraction in the Pacific Northwest will become all but inaccessible after this weekend, after the parking lot at Pacific City's Cape Kiwanda closes on Monday as part of a large-scale renovation project. The closest parking will be about a half mile away, leaving the cape and this famed Oregon coast beach cut off to those who aren't up to the small hike. Most parking is now a mile away.

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The parking lot closes on Monday and will have limited parking open in late March for the spring break week, but otherwise it remains closed until July, according to Tillamook County and Visit Tillamook Coast.

Public access to the beach and cape will be maintained, as will the boat launch at Dorymen's Way. The problem will be the distance - and the traffic issues.

The lot itself will be seeing a lot of reworking. Tillamook County's Brook Wyntergreen Olsen told Oregon Coast Beach Connection it should be open by Fourth of July. All of it is part of the larger Kiwanda Corridor Project, which promises new features such as sidewalks, beautification and ease-of-access work, aimed at creating a better experience for tourists and residents.

“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.”

Olsen said construction equipment will also be parked there, taking up plenty of space.

With most parking a mile away, the majority of visitors won't find the cape accessible. There's a fair amount of parking (55 spots) about half a mile away, but the remaining 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 all manner of signage pointing out options to visitors, 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.

Oregon coast officials 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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