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Favorite Places: Cape Kiwanda Oregon

March 2, 2012 Favorite Places 7 Comments

Written by: Charlie Borland

One of my favorite places to shoot is Cape Kiwanda on the Oregon coast. Much of Oregon’s coast is popular with photographers and Cape Kiwanda is a real jewel.

It is part of the Three Capes Scenic Route and includes Cape Meares and Cape Lookout, both which have some wonderful locations to shoot. But Cape Kiwanda is the clear star.

Located 1.5 hours SW of Portland along Hwy 101 near Pacific City, Cape Kiwanda is a coastal area comprised of sandstone headlands. The rocky shoreline contains cliffs over 100’ feet high that drop straight into the ocean as well as some ‘swirling’ geology certainly worthy of the camera.

The star is (was) a stunning arch that some photographers called Keyhole Arch, down along the shore, but sadly it collapsed in 2011. Don’t let that stop you from coming though.

Kiwanda is also famous for its spectacular wave action, especially in stormy weather, drawing photographers looking to capture these massive waves crashing against the cliffs when the surf is just right.or cape kiwanda  Favorite Places: Cape Kiwanda Oregon

 or cape kiwanda Favorite Places: Cape Kiwanda OregonIf you are there in the summer and July in particular, don’t miss the Pacific City Dory Derby, an event that celebrates the long history of dory fisherman. Cape Kiwanda is also popular with hang gliders and fisherman. There is plenty to see and shoot and its worthy of stop.


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If you have been here please share your thoughts and leave a comment.

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Currently there are "7 comments" on this Article:

  1. Boyan says:

    Oh no, don’t spread the word! I had lived in Portland for 10+ years and never heard of Cape Kiwanda, then it instantly turned into my favorite spot within 2hr drive of PDX. I have also talked to several Oregon “born and bred” natives who have never been there. The number of photogs you see there on a typical day in December (best time of the year to shoot) is close to zero. Or at least it was before you posted this :-)

  2. admin says:

    LOL, Boyan. Sorry I spilled the secret. It will be elbow to elbow from here on out ha ha. I wish I could have shot the arch before it fell. I had no idea it was there after 30 years of being a photographer, so I missed out and am stunned I never knew. Charlie

  3. [...] posts: Favorite Places: Cape Kiwanda Oregon,  Favorite Places: Cape Kiwanda [...]

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