Camping at Cape Kiwanda: Birds, Bunnies and More

View from our campground site

Although we often know a good deal of what our camping experience will be at each RV park, we usually find a few things along the way we hadn’t expected. A bonus at Cape Kiwanda RV Park in Pacific City was all the wildlife that came regularly to our site. We put out seed in our hanging feeder and a dish on the ground and immediately the Stellar Jays came calling. Since Stellar Jays live in the Western U.S., it had been awhile since we had seen them near our trailer. I always enjoy seeing their bright blue coloring accented with black.

Stellar Jay

We had a number of birds visit us including one we hadn’t had before – Northern Flicker. Another frequent visitor were the Dark-eyed Juncos (I like to call them the little executioners because of their black hoods 😊 ). A spotted towhee also made an appearance.

Northern Flicker
Dark-Eyed Junco

Seeing bunnies around the campground was also something unexpected. They looked more domesticated than wild and were all colors including pure black, black and white and tan. Toward the end of our stay I asked a lady working in the office how the bunnies got here. She reported that many years ago a man kept about 100 rabbits at the Thousand Trails Campground several miles up the road. For some reason he had to let them loose and they commingled and bred with wild rabbits, continuing to multiply.

This little fellow was our most frequent bunny visitor

The bunnies were more tame than most wild rabbits, probably because they are used to all the people at the campground, who I am sure give them treats from time to time, like we did with carrots.

This little deer came to see us a few times

There were a couple of benefits to staying at Cape Kiwanda RV Resort. The best part was its location right across the street from the beach. It was also nice to find eateries right outside the entrance and the RV Park also had an onsite market and gift shop. Next door was a pizza restaurant which Mark enjoyed because he likes pizza places with salad bars. My favorite was the bakery and two mornings I walked over there to get freshly made pastries and bagels for our breakfast. This is the first time in our RVing where we have been such a walkable distance to places to eat.

Stimulus Coffee and Bakery

By far the most popular eatery is the Pelican Brewing Company looking out over the beach. They brew their own beer and also serve meals. People love coming for the beach view, sitting outside to eat and drink when the weather is good. The Company states it is the only Brewpub located on a beach in the Pacific Northwest. Mark and I usually avoid the trendy places as we don’t feel they are a good value for the money and are usually quite busy. But after walking past the restaurant multiple times throughout the week I felt compelled to try it out. Inside, our table had a nice view of Haystack Rock, the most prominent feature of Cape Kiwanda. The Rock is located offshore and stands 327 feet above the sea, the largest haystack on the Oregon Coast.

Pelican Brewing Company
Haystack Rock

The Beach at Pacific City is well loved by visitors. I was surprised to see that vehicles could drive out onto the sand and park. I wanted to venture out but my driver wouldn’t have it. Later we learned that many people get stuck and a few locals make a living out of rescuing them.

The waves are noteworthy here and surfers are a common sight.

Surfer finishing up for the day at Cape Kiwanda

I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get to see the famous Pacific City Dory Fleet. These flat bottomed fishing boats launch right from the beach and have to maneuver over the waves as they head out to sea. Visitors are warned to get out of their way when they return because they come in fast with the waves and are therefore unable to stop on their own accord. The Fleet has been a Pacific City tradition for over 100 years. During the warmer months there are probably more boats going in and out, but we were there in the middle of Fall with some cold days.

Cape Kiwanda

Cape Kiwanda State Park features sandstone cliffs that are known for strong wave action and at 240 feet, the highest sand dune on the Oregon Coast. I regularly saw people climbing up the dune on their hands and knees. I debated doing the climb, but it is steep and slogging through sand straight uphill is so hard, something I realized during our stay near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan. I did head up part way and then veering to the left walked for awhile on the Cape. Much of it is fenced off though to prevent injuries. Signs warned of the dangers climbing or walking on the cliffs, with seven people having lost their lives falling into the ocean. In spite of the fencing and signs, people still regularly climb over and walk onto the cliffs.

View climbing up part of the dune
The fenced off Cape Kiwanda cove. I listened to the echo of the surf as it entered the cave on the left

As always, thanks for checking in and I hope you enjoyed a look at the Cape Kiwanda area!

5 thoughts on “Camping at Cape Kiwanda: Birds, Bunnies and More”

  1. These are some beautiful pictures! I love the surfer picture at sunset! All of the animals are so cute. I especially like the bunny. It must have been fun to have regular animal visitors.

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