Cape Disappointment State Park, Ilwaco

#1 of 10 in Things to do in Ilwaco
Must see · State Park · Nature / Park
Cape Disappointment State Park (formerly Fort Canby State Park) is a public recreation area on Cape Disappointment, located southwest of Ilwaco, Washington, on the bottom end of Long Beach Peninsula, the northern headlands where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean. The state park's 2,023 acres (819 ha) encompass a diverse landscape of old-growth forest, freshwater lakes, freshwater and saltwater marshes, and oceanside tidelands. Park sites include Fort Canby, the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, North Head Lighthouse, and Cape Disappointment Lighthouse. Cape Disappointment is one of several state parks and sites in Washington and Oregon that are included in Lewis and Clark National Historical Park.
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Cape Disappointment State Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
500 reviews
  • Our family of four stayed in the head lighthouse keepers house at Cape Disappointment the second weekend of October. This price for two nights (two night minimum stay) was $675 as it is not the main.....  more »
  • This is a large state park with easy walking access to Long Beach. Some campsites are only a few yards from the beach. Very popular and can be busy with campers. Modern and clean facilities with...  more »
  • My husband and I enjoyed the park and had a wonderful day. The walks to the light houses were nice, but the views are really what we enjoyed. We also really enjoyed seeing Dead Man's Cove. It's closed, so don't go down, but it's still pretty to see from the trail above. We also enjoyed Waikiki Beach and Benson Beach. The former is small but has beautiful, large waves breaking against the cliffs. It's also sheltered from the wind a bit, which made it warmer. The latter beach was long and flat with lots of driftwood and even a fairly new whale skeleton (and some skin so it SMELLS). Super cool to see! I gave the park 4 stars instead of 5 because it was so confusing in the beginning as first timers. So to help you be a bit less confused, if you need to get an annual pass, go to the small hut going toward Waikiki Beach to get a more durable pass. Otherwise, you'll just be getting a receipt to put in your window. Going there to get that first will then make the rest a breeze. Enjoy!
  • The bulk of the campground on the ocean is gorgeous, but not all camp sites are created equal here. Plenty of bathrooms but fewer showers. On the plus side there are two lighthouses within the park and it's position at the mouth of the mighty Columbia as it reaches the majestic Pacific can not be overlooked. Also it's connection with the Corps of Discovery makes it a must see for anyone interested in History or the American West's early occupation by European descendants.

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