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Cape Disappointment

Hike to an old lighthouse as well as a really nice Lewis & Clark Interpretive center. With beautiful views of the cape.
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 4.2 miles
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly

Overview :  Climb to the oldest operating lighthouse on the West Coast, explore bunkers of an old military fort, wander through coastal forests,... more »

Tips:  From Seattle:
Take I-5 south to Olympia, SR 8 west to Montesano. From there, take U.S. Hwy. 101 south to Long Beach Peninsula.

From... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Parking Area & Store

From this parking lot you can choose to hike the coastal forest trail to the north (starts at POI #14), or you can hike up the road ahead to do a loop that will bring you back to this area.

If you are only interested in seeing the lighthouse or the Lewis & Clark center then drive up the road to one of the upper parking areas.

There is a nice... More

2. Keep Right at the Fork

3. Keep Left

At this junction keep left. To the right is a parking lot for disabled people that want to see the Lewis & Clark Center

4. Upper Parking Lot

From this Parking lot is a short trail to the Lewis & Clark Center. If you follow the trail in this guide it will first take you to the lighthouse.

5. Trail Fork

Head East for the lighthouse, head west for the Lewis & Clark Center.

6. Coast Guard Station

Coast Guard Station Cape Disappointment, situated at the mouth of the Columbia River, is the largest Coast Guard search and rescue station on the Northwest Coast, with 50 crewmembers assigned. Cape Disappointment is also the site of the oldest search and rescue station within the Thirteenth Coast Guard District.

The station's primary missions... More

7. Dead Man's Cove

In 1848 a lighthouse was recommended to be located at Cape Disappointment in what was then the Oregon Territory. $53,000 was appropriated in 1852. After the lighthouse was designed, a first-order Fresnel lens was ordered. When the lens arrived it was found to be too large for the tower. Rebuilding the tower took an additional two years. The first ... More

9. World War II Bunker

10. Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center

The Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center tells the story of the Corps of Discovery’s journey, focusing particularly on their Pacific Coast stay.

It's open year-round from 10 am to 5 pm daily. Admission into the center is $3 per adult and $1 per child ages 7 to 17. Children ages 6 and under enter for free.

11. Continue on the Trail Here

12. Viewpoint

13. Waikiki Beach

Nestled in a cove fronting the river, Waikiki Beach offers a view of the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse and excellent storm-watching during the winter.

14. Coastal Forest Trail Entrance

You can choose to continue on, or do this trail as its own separate hike. It's a nice hike through some old growth trees and views of Baker Bay.

15. Loop Entrance

You can turn left or right the trail will come back here.

16. Viewpoint

Watch boats pass by in Baker Bay

17. Trail Junction

Turn North East here to the Viewpoint, or West to continue around the loop.

18. Viewpoint and Beach Access

Nice views from here, and you can walk on the beach.