Second Sinkhole Forms At Cape Kiwanda

Pacific City, Ore. — A second sinkhole has formed at Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area, prompting the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department to ask visitors to use caution and stay away from the area. The new sinkhole, which was discovered on Monday, measures approximately 10 feet across and 30 feet deep, and is located only 10 inches away from the first sinkhole that appeared in January. The sinkhole developed within the safety fence of the first sinkhole, in the northwest corner of the lower dune.

Park staff were alerted to the presence of the second sinkhole late on Monday evening after a photo was posted on social media. They immediately expanded the safety fence around both sinkholes to keep visitors at a safer distance. Park Ranger Supervisor Travis Korbe reminded visitors to respect the barrier and all park safety barriers, to keep pets on leashes, and children away from the edges.

According to Korbe, the soil at Cape Kiwanda is falling into large, unstable voids beneath the cliff caused by strong ocean waves. The first sinkhole measures about 25 feet across and 15 feet deep. The Parks and Recreation Department is working with a geologist to determine the best location for a permanent safety fence to keep visitors away from the sinkholes.

Visitors to Cape Kiwanda are urged to pay special attention to their surroundings, as the sandstone outcropping is naturally much weaker and prone to sudden changes compared with hardier rock like basalt. Although any natural area carries risk, enjoying Cape Kiwanda safely requires visitors to remain vigilant.

While the area is marked with barriers, the sinkholes could change at any moment, and others could appear. Visitors who notice anything that concerns them are urged to leave the area and report it to Cape Lookout State Park staff at 503-842-4981. In an emergency, call 911.

The Parks and Recreation Department is monitoring the situation daily, and additional details will be shared as they become available.