Cape Disappointment State Park Car Camp

Visit the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, $5 per person, experience historic Fort Canby, visit two historic lighthouses, see fascinating beach caves and hike the length of Benson Beach to the North Jetty of the Columbia River and the popular Discovery Trail to Long Beach, camping Saturday night at Cape Disappointment State Park.
Info
COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers event.

Meet at 11 AM Saturday June 3 at the entrance to Cape Disappointment State Park, reached by driving west on SR 100 from Ilwaco, which is reached from Tacoma by driving south on I-5 to Olympia, west on US 101, SR 8 and SR 12 to Montesano, south on SR 107 and US 101 through Raymond and South Bend to SR 103, where you turn left to Ilwaco, where you follow the signs to Cape Disappointment State Park .  This is about a four hour drive from Seattle.

Three individual campsites have been reserved in the loop nearest the campground entrance.  After setting up camp there and having a camp lunch, we will drive to the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, where we have a 1 PM talk scheduled.  After that, we'll drive to a parking lot near the north end of Benson Beach, passing a Fort Canby bunker enroute,  walk to caves at the base of North Head near low tide, hike two miles on Benson Beach to the North Jetty, explore the jetty as far as we want to go and then return on a road to our campsite.  After retrieving the car(s) parked  near the north end of Benson Beach, we will drive to the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse trailhead and hike the 2 miles RT to the lighthouse. Then we will have a camp dinner, followed by smores around the campfire.  Because there is a late sunset at this time of the year, a short evening hike would be an option.  There are restrooms several places in the campground and at the Lewis and Clark Visitor Center.  The cost of campsite fees and firewood will be shared.  The estimated cost per person is $15.  Because we are paying campsite fees, we will NOT need Discover Passes at the places we park our cars.   All hikes on this car camp are classified as EASY.  

Sunday we will have a camp breakfast, pack up camp, and drive to North Head Lighthouse where we can hike a short trail to a magnificent viewpoint overlooking the ocean.  Then we will drive to the north trailhead of the Discovery Trail in Long Beach to drop off one or two cars, and then drive back to Beard's Hollow Trailhead to begin our seven mile one-way hike (downhill and level) on the Discovery Trail.  We will have a trail lunch wherever we are at lunch time.  There are restrooms at both trailheads and at intermediate spots along the trail.  After retrieving the car or cars left at the Beard's Hollow trailhead we will have an optional meal stop in Long Beach before driving home.  If there are not sufficient cars to do a car shuttle for the Discovery Trail hike, we will begin the hike in Long Beach and hike 3.5 miles south before returning via the same route, so the total hiking distance will remain the same.   On the out and back version of the hike, there will be virtually no elevation gain.  We should be done with the Discovery Trail hike by 3 PM.  This is a good car camp for families with young children.