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Lincoln City and Points North

Updated: May 13, 2019

I found that north of Lincoln City there were a small number of spots that I wanted to visit, mainly because I had been to 2 of them before.


Cascade Head is a nature preserve managed by the Nature Conservatory organization. I remember it was a reasonable hike up to where the views of the coast were exceptional. But that time I did not have a dog with me. They do not allow dogs in the preserve so I had to forego the hike this time. This is an understandable restriction because there are sensitive native plants, rare plants and animals up there in the native coastal meadows. But if you are not traveling with a dog, this is one area you should definitely put on your list of stops. Look for the Three Rocks Rd signs and follow the road to the well marked parking area.


Cape Kiwanda is a very visually interesting , fun area to spend time. While I didn't see any this trip, the last time I was here, I saw the flat bottom fishing boats come ashore at high speed, pull up their motors and propellers, and slide way up on the sand to their trailers. Just stay out of their way ! The topography at Cape Kiwanda is different from almost anywhere else on the coast. It is a large sandstone outcropping that has been eroded in very interesting forms. You can not walk up on the head itself, it is fenced off for your safety, but you can climb the hill just inland from it and photograph down on it. It is a bit strenuous because of the sand, like climbing a sand dune, but the view is worth it. From that elevated vantage point, you can see down on the north side of the head and see the eroded form created by the waves over time. You can also get a good view of the coastline to the north of there. Cape Kiwanda is 24 miles north of Lincoln City, look for Brooten Rd, and signs for Pacific City. Take a left in Pacific City, follow McPhillips Road to Cape Kiwanda State Park.

Cape Kiwanda and " the other " Haystack Rock, as opposed to the more famous Haystack Rock up the coast at Cannon Beach

After you have finished with Cape Kiwanda, follow McPhillips Road north to a T in the road, turn left on Look Out road. In several miles, you will see signs for Cape Lookout State Park. There is a 2 1/2 mile trail from the parking lot out to the tip of the cape. It is not an easy trail, lots of tree roots, etc. but a lot of people were hiking on it. The tip is supposed to be a good spot for whale watching and I was not disappointed.


There were a number of whale watchers there when I arrived, and they were very generous in pointing out whales they had spotted. I saw one roll up on it's side, lift a flipper like a wave to us watchers , then went back down. As far as photography, not an interesting shot, we were quite a bit above the water, not much time to set up a shot as the whales surfaced and then dove. I did get several nice panoramic shots thru breaks in the trees, looking south along the coast back towards Cape Kiwanda. These breaks were in the first 1/2 mile or so of the hike, so if that is what you are after, I wouldn't walk all the way out to the tip of the cape. But I am old, and not as adventurous as I once was, so let that be your guide. If you are a young and like a good hike, go for it.

My next blog will be about Seaside, and the surrounding area, including Cannon Beach and the famous Haystack Rock there.

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