A 4,650-acre year-round camping park, Beacon Rock State Park boasts 9 miles of hiking trails, 13 miles of biking trails, 13 miles of horse trails, and boating opportunities along the Columbia River. Beacon Rock itself is excellent for rock climbing, but only certain faces of the rock are open to climbing due to the presence of falcon nests. A mile-long trail leads to the summit of Beacon Rock, named by Lewis and Clark on their expedition to the Pacific.
Named after a local windsurfer who used to frequent the beach during the sport's infancy, Doug's Beach was once the site of a Native American village. The park is popular for swimming, fishing, and is considered one of the best windsurfing sites in the Columbia Gorge (the park is rated for advanced sailors).
Cape Disappointment offers park goers old-growth forests, riverbanks, lakes, streams and tidelands. It also has saltwater and freshwater marshes, and features 27 miles of ocean beach. The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center is open year-round to tell the story of the Corps Of Discovery. The park hosts many events, including:
- a Stunt Kite Competition
- 4th of July Fireworks on the beach
- a summer Sand Sculpture Contest
- an annual Rod Run in the fall
- the Water Music Festival, held each October
The Cape Disappointment Lighthouse is one of two lighthouses in the park, and is the oldest functioning lighthouse on the West Coast. Cape Disappointment also includes old Fort Canby, whose purpose was to protect the mouth of the Columbia River. Empty gun batteries still sit atop the park.
For more information on Washington State Parks in the area, visit the Washington State Parks website.