Cape Disappointment State Park
A delightful place at the SW tip of Washington State on the Long Beach Peninsula. As part of the “Graveyard of the Pacific” this beautiful but treacherous place offers 1,882 acres of spectacular views and loads of history. The park has 2 miles of beachfront, 2 lighthouses, several hiking trails, and the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center documenting the Corps of Discovery’s journey to the Pacific Ocean. The campground offers 234 campsites including 60 full hook ups, 18 water and electric only, and 5 primitive sites. There are also 14 yurts and 3 cabins available for rent. The park is open year round with the exception of a few of the beach front loops that are closed in the winter.
You can not beat this place. It is one of the most beautiful places in the world. You could easily treat this as a destination park and spend days at your campsite just relaxing. However there is also a lot to do here as the park is only minutes from the fishing town of Ilwaco, and Long Beach which both host festivals throughout the year. There is plenty to do inside the park as well from beach combing, hiking, metal detecting, bird watching, and ship watching. You can also enjoy the rich history the area has to offer with tours of a lighthouse, and visiting the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. There is also a summer concert series at Waikiki beach inside the park where you can take in a concert while enjoying the spectacular views.
Things to see in the area:
- Fort Columbia
- Long Beach Peninsula
- Historic Town of Oysterville
- Columbia River Maritime Museum
- Cranberry Museum
The campground hosts 234 campsites, 1-180 are suitable for RVs. The campground was layout in loops of campsites, 10 back up sites per loop. Sites 1-60 are full hook up sites with water electric and sewer. The rest was just water/electric, or were primitive sites. There are several tent sites towards the entrance of the park as well. Almost every site, except the tent sites up front, were suitable for large RVs. Most sites were private each with their own sitting area and fire pit. The sites are surrounded by trees and vegetation so you feel like you’re in your own slice of the park. Several loops are a few steps from the beach some with peek a boo views. These loops (11-20; 101-110; 161-170) are closed in the winter due to their proximity to the surf. There is only one site I wouldn’t recommend in addition to the primitive sites and that would be site #17 as the path to the beach goes through your campsite.
The facilities at this campground are decent. There are 8 bathrooms around the park all including showers. Sites 1-60 have a new bathroom that is really nice and they keep all the bathrooms spotless. Showers will cost you so bring your quarters(.50 for 3 minutes). There is an on-site dump station at the park. When we were there they had set up a temporary dump station as they were updating the regular one. In an attempt to save money all of the garbage dumpsters were moved to a centralized location to service all of the loops. This made taking out garbage a little bit of a walk. There is a nice day use area at Wakkiki beach with several picnic tables, and a nice beach. Day Use requires a Discover Pass for visitors and the rangers were ticketing people without them. You do not need one if you are a registered camper. Cell service at the park was non-existent. We had no bars of signal throughout most of the park. We did get a few bars at Wakkiki Beach but that is the only place. We did get one TV channel on the antenna, channel 2 out of Portland but it was in Black and White and fuzzy.
This is a great park for kids. There were hours and hours of exploring trails, beaches, riding bikes, climbing trees, and learning about history due to the nearby historic sites of Fort Columbia, and the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. The ocean is not suitable for swimming, or even wading. There are hazard signs all over the beach, and park about the dangerous conditions on the water. That didn’t stop some people as I saw several toddlers in the water that made me cringe. The only thing this park lacked was a playground for the smaller children. Our kids seemed to entertain themselves, along with the neighbor kids in the center area of our loop. It was a tree climbing haven.
What can I say, my dogs love the beach. This park offers a lot for dogs. There are miles of trails and beachfront to walk on with the dogs. The park has placed doggie bags around the park for your use. There is a leash rule, as in every state park, that most people abided by. There is stiff fine for having your dog off a leash $95.00.
Let us know what you think of Cape Disappointment State Park in the comments below.
You may also like:
- The Graveyard of the Pacific
- Fort Lola