Cape Disappointment State Park

Lighthouses stand sentinel atop windswept cliffs, sea smells waft up through the air and waves collide with a crash where the Pacific Ocean meets the Columbia River below.  

Named for Captain John Meares’ first thwarted voyage to find the Columbia, Cape Disappointment is steeped in Northwest history. This is the place to explore U.S. military and maritime legacies and to experience the story of Lewis & Clark and the effect of their Corps of Discovery Expedition on Native American tribes.

Step into the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center for interactive exhibits. Find overgrown ruins of military bunkers and coast defense batteries, and hear tales of two lighthouses and the first attempts to reach the Columbia River by ocean.

Hike through old-growth forest, around freshwater lakes, saltwater marshes and ocean tidelands. Gape at the breathtaking views. Skippers, launch your boats from Baker Bay. Surfers, head to the beautiful white sand cove known as Waikiki Beach.

Don’t be surprised if you leave Cape Disappointment intrigued by its complex and multi-faceted history and enchanted by its legends and its vistas. This park will fill your senses and occupy your mind, and you will long to return.  

Park Features


Cape Disappointment is a 1,882-acre camping park on the Long Beach Peninsula, fronted by the Pacific Ocean and looking into the mouth of the Columbia River. The park offers yurts, cabins and unique historic vacation homes to meet travelers’ diverse lodging needs. 

Discover Pass: A Discover Pass is required for vehicle access to state parks for day use. For more information about the Discover Pass and exemptions, please visit the Discover Pass web page.
  
Automated pay stations: This park is equipped with automated pay stations for visitors to purchase a one-day or annual Discover Pass.

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  1. Activities
  2. Boating
  3. Camping
  4. History
  5. Maps
ADA Amenities/Facilities
  • Campground
  • Hiking trail
  • Restroom
Picnic & Day-Use Facilities
The day-use area has 20 unsheltered picnic tables, available first come, first served.

Activities
Trails
  • 8 miles of hiking trails
Water Activities & Features
  • 135 feet of dock
  • Boating
  • Boat ramp
  • Clamming
  • Crabbing
  • Freshwater fishing
  • Saltwater fishing
Other Activities & Features
  • Amphitheater
  • Beach exploration
  • Bird watching
  • Summer concert series
 

  • Museum
 
Interpretive Opportunities
Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center (LCIC), perched on a 200-foot-high cliff, tells the story of Lewis and Clark and their journey from St. Louis to the Pacific Ocean. 
Lewis and Clark Intrepretive Center

The park also features interpretive trails and the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse. 
Other interpretive opportunities, such as the Fort Columbia Interpretive Center and the Fort Columbia Commanding Officer's House Museum, are also in the vicinity.
  
LCIC Hours
April 1 - Oct. 31, open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Nov. 1 - March 31, open Wednesdays through Sundays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

Admission
Admission prices for the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center are:
 
  • Ages 18 and older: $5.00
  • Ages 7 to 17: $2.50
  • Ages 6 and younger are free

The North Head Lighthouse will be under construction for the duration of 2016. Access to the interior of the lighthouse for tours and weddings will not be available during this time. The grounds will remain open.

The North Head Lighthouse is open to visitors 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily from May to Sept. 30. Tour admission is $2.50 per adult and free for ages 7 to 17. Children under the age of seven are not permitted. Appropriate footwear is required, no flip flops or shoes without heel straps. Federal and state passes are not accepted for admission. Call the center at (360) 642-3029 for more information. 

Additional Information

  • The parking lots at the North Head, Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center and Beards Hollow will not accommodate RV parking.
  • Swimming in the ocean on the Long Beach Peninsula is not advised.
  • Significant nearby natural areas include Willapa Bay, Leadbetter Point and Beard's Hollow.
  • A recreational license is required for fishing and shellfish harvesting at Washington state parks. For regulations, fishing season information, or to purchase a recreational license, visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.