Crazi Culture

Celebrate Your Life – Experience the World

Cape Disappointment on Long Beach Peninsula, Washington: Best Hikes for Pacific NW Photographers

by J. “Kat” Loren : :

You won’t be disappointed in this fabulously scenic photography stop.

Cape Disappointment

Cape Disappointment (photo by J Kat Loren)

On the way to Southern Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula, stop off at Cape Disappointment for scenic views emerging from the moody skies and churning sea and let your photos tell the story of the emotional state of old seafarers swimming ashore after their ships had been lost to the rocks and winds of yesteryear.

It’s 6.5 miles of hiking trails take the hiker through old-growth forest, alongside lakes, through freshwater and saltwater marshes and by streams and ocean tidelands. The 1.8-mile North Head Trail is the longest, through a marsh and into the towering Sitka spruce forest, offering spectacular ocean views along the way. The reward for hiking these trails is a wonderful view of the Columbia River estuary and the Pacific Ocean beyond, as well as the Cape Disappointment lighthouse, North Head Lighthouse, an old military bunker and the interpretive center museum.

Cape Disappointment Lighthouse – at 154 years old, this is the first lighthouse built on the Northwest coast. View it from the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center or from below on the north jetty. You can also take a short hike to the lighthouse through the rainforest and past military fortifications dating back to the Civil War. The interpretive center traces the journey of the Corps of Discovery through interactive exhibits, journal entries and film. The viewpoint offers views of the ocean at the mouth of the Columbia River.

The Discovery Trail between Cape Disappointment and Ilwaco is one of the least strenuous hikes on the Long Beach Peninsula, offering a leisurely stroll along an asphalt path at the edge of the Pacific. Access to the 6.2-mile trail can be gained at the west end of Main Street in Ilwaco or any of the Long Beach access roads, and includes three wooden bridge crossings as it winds gently through the coastal forest. The trail drops to sea level, traverses beachgrass-covered dunes along the ocean’s shore and intersects the boardwalk in Long Beach.


J “Kat” Loren is an avid explorer of the beauty of life. Her travel articles have appeared in national magazines. J “Kat” Loren is also the author of more than a dozen books. She currently focuses on writing health, fitness,  conservation and travel articles.  Her blog “Crazi Culture” is a popular read among those who like eclectic topics and travelogues about odd places and adventures.



© Crazi Culture / Blue Moth Media, 2014 – 2020.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to J Kat Loren & Crazi Culture with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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