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Cape Kiwanda Viewpoint

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

View to Cape Lookout from Cape Kiwanda (bobcat)
View to the cove, Cape Kiwanda (bobcat)


A new fenced trail, opened in 2021, leads out to the headland's scrubby toupée of salal and stunted Sitka spruce. From the end of this walk, you'll get good views south. Please do not cross the fence. Between 2009 and 2016, there were seven deaths at Cape Kiwanda. These were people who had climbed the old barrier fence and then "explored" the forbidden area. The fragile sandstone formations here alter yearly, and human intrusion only adds to the destruction. That the beautiful orange and yellow layers of the headland have survived at all is because of Haystack Rock's protective shield - it stands directly in the path of the southwesterly winds that blow onto the coast at most times of the year. The new fence that guides you out along the headland should offer all the good views you need.

A little farther west from the new headland trail is a sheltered cove with its own sea cave and blowhole. Look for black oystercatchers darting along the rocks. This is also a decent whale watching site in mid-winter and mid-spring, and solitary gray whales have been known to hang out off the cape in the summer.

Farther along the fence, you'll get a view towards Cape Lookout above a colorful contorted sandstone stack. At the end of the fence line, a sign warns but does not forbid exploring the back side of the Great Dune, and a foot trail leads up to the summit from here.

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Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.