Cape Kiwanda, State Natural Area

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Cape Kiwanda, State Natural Area

by | Sep 25, 2018

Cape Kiwanda is a state park on the northern Oregon coast just outside of Pacific City. The headland is on the Three Capes Scenic Route, a coastal drive that includes Cape Meares and Cape Lookout. A trail leads to the top of Cape Kiwanda with views of Nestucca Bay to the south and Cape Lookout to the north.

The headland is made of sandstone, unlike the majority of headlands on the Oregon coast that are made of basalt from ancient lava flows about 15 million years ago. Wave action quickly erodes sandstone and the headland would have disappeared long ago but for a basalt, and erosion resistant, sea stack named Haystack Rock, located 0.5 miles (0.80 km) southwest of the cape. The sea stack effectively protects the headland by deflecting waves to the north and south. This sea stack is one of three sea stacks along the Oregon Coast that are called “Haystack Rock,” the one at Cannon Beach is more widely known.

Beaches to the north and south of Cape Kiwanda are popular tourist destinations. The beach at Pacific City is famous for the dory fishing fleet and the way they are launched and landed through the surf. Read more about Cape Kiwanda here and here, and see a short video of the dory landing here. Explore more of Cape Kiwanda and the northern Oregon coast here:

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