Cape Disappointment State Park, Ilwaco

4.5
Cape Disappointment State Park (formerly, Fort Canby State Park) is a public recreation area 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 sights include 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 make up the Lewis and Clark National and State Historical Parks.
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Cape Disappointment State Park Reviews

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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
487 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • I’ve been here 4 times now and I keep making new discoveries. This park has it all: ocean waves crashing against cliffs, walks through forest, fairly secluded beaches, lighthouses (2 of them...  more »
  • Where history & ever-changing weather meet the mighty Pacific! Lush, green—so many varieties of evergreens...Enjoy the beauty!  more »
Google
  • 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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