Cape Disappointment State Park

Cape Disappointment State Park which includes general coastal views, landscape views and a beach

Cape Disappointment State Park

Build sandcastles, hike along the beach, launch a boat or dig for clams at this Pacific Northwest park that is much better than its depressing name.

The first question you’ll likely have upon visiting Cape Disappointment State Park is, “Why does it have such a somber name?” It dates back to the Lewis and Clark era, when Captain John Meares failed in his attempt to find the Columbia River. Though his displeasure is reflected in the park’s title, today join many other visitors who experience the opposite of disappointment when visiting this beautiful coastal site.

Combining a rugged Pacific Northwest beach vacation with a historical adventure, the state park has attractions for everyone. Visit lighthouses atop windswept cliffs, listening to the waves thunder against the rocks below. Dig for clams on Benson Beach. Venture out by boat from Baker Bay. Head to the North Jetty to try fishing for salmon and crab.

With 8 miles (13 kilometers) of hiking trails, Cape Disappointment offers trekkers plenty of choices. Walk through ancient forests, to freshwater lakes, along saltwater marshes and across tide pools. Take the Bell’s View Trail, an easy route with a view of the beach. Try the more challenging North Head Trail, connecting to McKenzie Head and an old gun battery, part of the remains of Fort Canby. Complete your trip by hiking to one or both of the park’s two working lighthouses.

Stop at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center to learn about the expedition of the Corps of Discovery and the region’s Native American and maritime history. This is also a great spot to get a panoramic photo of both the Columbia Pacific Confluence and the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse.

If you’d like to spend more than a day at Cape Disappointment, reserve one of the available yurts, cabins or historic vacation homes. Advance reservations are recommended.

Find Cape Disappointment 1 miles (1.5 kilometers) south of Ilwaco. The park is open daily year round. Purchase a one-day or annual pass. Pay extra fees to visit the interpretive center and lighthouse.

Top Hotels Close to Cape Disappointment State Park

Heidis Inn Ilwaco
Heidis Inn Ilwaco
2.5 out of 5
126 Spruce St E, Box 776, Ilwaco, WA, 98624
The price is NT$3,488 per night from Sep 18 to Sep 19
Stay at this business-friendly motel in Ilwaco. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and daily housekeeping. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean rooms ...
3.4/5 (371 reviews)
spacious and near the ocean
"the setting is beach proximity and that was what we wanted. The Hotel is sufficient. The staff is capable concerned, listens. They're good at what they do"

Reviewed on 2022/8/2

Heidis Inn Ilwaco
China Beach Retreat
China Beach Retreat
3 out of 5
222 Robert Gray Dr, Ilwaco, WA, 98624
Stay at this 3-star guesthouse in Ilwaco. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and private spa tubs. Popular attractions Port of Ilwaco and Columbia Pacific Heritage ...
4.7/5 Exceptional! (13 reviews)
"This was one of the best weekend experiences I ever had at the beach. The view was breathtaking, beautiful, calming and serene. There were deer that came right up to the house; along with bunnies and a variety of birds. It was awesome to watch the boats in the bay and then see the freighters scoot ..."

Reviewed on 2020/7/13

China Beach Retreat
Salt Hotel
Salt Hotel
2.5 out of 5
147 Howerton Avenue, Ilwaco, WA, 98624
The price is NT$5,041 per night from Sep 4 to Sep 5
Stay at this motel in Ilwaco. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and a terrace. Our guests praise the restaurant and the comfy rooms in our reviews. Popular attractions ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (170 reviews)
"We loved it! Everything was so nice. They had courtesy texts giving us info before we arrived & we could respond with any questions or anything we needed. We felt very cared for. We do wish it were just a bit less expensive but so it goes."

Reviewed on 2022/8/1

Salt Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit


Best Lodging Options Near Cape Disappointment State Park

Heidis Inn Ilwaco
Heidis Inn Ilwaco
2.5 out of 5
126 Spruce St E, Box 776, Ilwaco, WA, 98624
The price is NT$3,488 per night from Sep 18 to Sep 19
Heidis Inn Ilwaco
China Beach Retreat
China Beach Retreat
3 out of 5
222 Robert Gray Dr, Ilwaco, WA, 98624
China Beach Retreat
Salt Hotel
Salt Hotel
2.5 out of 5
147 Howerton Avenue, Ilwaco, WA, 98624
The price is NT$5,041 per night from Sep 4 to Sep 5
Salt Hotel
The Seaview Cottages
The Seaview Cottages
2.5 out of 5
3728 Pacific Way, Seaview, WA, 98644
The price is NT$4,171 per night from Sep 13 to Sep 14
The Seaview Cottages
Long Beach RV & Camping Resort
Long Beach RV & Camping Resort
2 out of 5
2215 Willow Road, Seaview, WA, 98644
Long Beach RV & Camping Resort
Adrift Hotel
Adrift Hotel
2.5 out of 5
409 Sid Snyder Dr., Long Beach, WA, 98631
The price is NT$4,324 per night from Sep 20 to Sep 21
Adrift Hotel
Shelburne Hotel
Shelburne Hotel
3 out of 5
4415 Pacific Way, Seaview, WA, 98644
The price is NT$4,114 per night from Sep 5 to Sep 6
Shelburne Hotel
Sou'wester Lodge & Vintage Trailers
Sou'wester Lodge & Vintage Trailers
2 out of 5
3728 J Pl, Seaview, WA, 98644
Sou'wester Lodge & Vintage Trailers
Chautauqua Resort & Conference Center
Chautauqua Resort & Conference Center
2 out of 5
304 NW 14th St, Long Beach, WA, 98631
The price is NT$3,573 per night from Sep 15 to Sep 16
Chautauqua Resort & Conference Center
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.