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Be Wary of the Waves

Be Wary of the Waves

Littered all over with caves, sea stacks, waterfalls, and sand dunes, why would you go to one of the most touristy spots in the whole state?

CAPE KIWANDA SAFETY NOTE: After five years without major incidents, a 25-year old male crossed into the fenced off area in April 2014, strung a cable between rocks (a practice called slack lining), fell to the rocks and was swept out to sea. Three more died in 2015; one 17-year old male fell from the cliffs in the closed area in June, and two more – female aged 17 and male aged 22 – died unattended in July (so the cause and exact location are not known). Two more (female aged 17 and male aged 19) died in February 2016 after falling from the fenced-off area into the ocean. In the most recent case, one person in a group fell into the ocean, and two would-be rescuers followed. One rescuer and the original victim self-rescued, and the second rescuer died. END OF SAFETY NOTE.


When most people think of going to the Oregon Coast, their first thought is to go to Cannon Beach. While there is nothing wrong with Cannon Beach in and of itself, that is NOT my first pick; rather, it's one of my last. We Oregonians are blessed with a beautiful coastline. Littered all over with caves, sea stacks, waterfalls, and sand dunes, why would you go to one of the most touristy spots in the whole state? 

Cape Kiwanda, on the other hand, is a perfect go-to spot. Yes, it is popular. Yes, it does get busy. But it makes up for that by providing some incredible features. Especially if you are a photographer! I have many awesome memories from that spot.


You do have to be cautious, and be wary of the waves! I got soaked because I did not heed my friends advice!

I met my friend Jerad out there that evening, just after the sun had set. He stood back and tried to tell me that the waves were huge and would splash all over where I was standing, but I didnt believe him. I was standing about 40 ft above sea level! As soon as I told him he was full of it, a MASSIVE wave shot up from below!

I was so thrilled I laughed like a maniac! I literally just kept laughing and laughing while Jerad was telling me to get away from there.

This is one of my favorite memories from there and certainly not my last. But, it is one of many incredible spots to enjoy on the coast. Another favorite of mine is Hug Point, which has a great beach, a cave, AND a waterfall that cascades straight onto the beach! Where else do you get to see that sort of thing! Iím including a picture of my favorite shot there, but I must warn you it is photoshopped. The cave was similarly shaped to the state of Oregon, but I did do some work on it just for fun so it looked perfect. I think it captures all my love of the coast in one nicely-framed shot.

Joe Keller

Tags: Oregon, PNW

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