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Cape Disappointment State Park

Cape Disappointment State Park


Summer 6:30 a.m. - dusk Winter 6:30 a.m. - dusk
360-642-3078, for campsite & group accommodations: 888-226-7688
A one-day vehicle pass is $11.50
lat: 46.2995548 long: -124.0653812

Located in Ilwaco, Washington, Cape Disappointment State Park was named for Captain John Meares’ first failed attempt to find the Columbia River in 1788. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark would later conduct reconnaissance of this area during their stay at Station Camp from November 15 to November 24, 1805.

The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center is perched on the wind-swept cliffs adjacent to the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse. The museum features a number of interactive exhibits focused on the area’s maritime and military history, including the Lewis & Clark Expedition. Visitors will enjoy wandering through the ruins of World War II-era bunkers and coastal defense batteries. The park also offers many hiking opportunities, including 8 miles of trails leading through old-growth forests or around freshwater lakes and saltwater marshes. Additional outdoor activities include boating and fishing at Benson Beach. There’s also a day-use area with 20 unsheltered picnic tables.

Cape Disappointment State Park’s operating hours vary by season. Visitors must purchase a parking pass to enter the park, and there are additional admission fees for the interpretive center and the North Head Lighthouse Tour. For more information, visit Cape Disappointment State Park | Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission.

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