Hang Out at Cape Disappointment State Park

Hang Out at Cape Disappointment State Park

Getaways, National Parks, Things to Do, Washington Select Registry – July 18, 2014

The Pacific North West is a region full of beautiful sights to see and places to visit.  When exploring Washington state, you should definitely check out Cape Disappointment State Park. Contrary to the name, a day spent marveling at the natural wonder of this special place will be anything but a disappointment.  So read on to find out why you should hang out at Cape Disappointment State Park in Washington.  

A Little History

Cape Disappointment State Park was said to be named by English explorer John Meares. Meares wasn’t unimpressed with the cape, however he narrowly missed discovering the Columbia River and was therefore disappointed with what he found instead. Another theory involves a member of the Lewis & Clark expedition arriving at the cape and not finding any ships as he had expected.  Either way, the name stuck, but Cape Disappointment state park is delightful rather than disappointing.  

Beaches and Hiking Trails

Stretching out along the coastline of the Pacific Ocean, Cape Disappointment state park has over 27 miles of beach to explore. The picturesque nature of the beaches are prime for exploration and are truly stunning with cliffs overlooking the sandy stretches. Other than beachcombing, you can bird watch, go crabbing or clamming, and more. There are also several hiking trails to choose from if you want to explore and get a bit of exercise. The trails add up to about eight mile and are of varying difficulties.  


Two lighthouses exist on Cape Disappointment, as ships coming into the mouth of the Columbia river historically kept running aground. The treacherous passage became known as the “Graveyard of the Pacific.” The first lighthouse to be built was the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse, which was built in 1856. However, ships continued to have difficulty navigating the river mouth, so a second beacon, the North Head Lighthouse was built and put on another point on the cape. Today the lighthouses still stand and tours are available from May until September.  

Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center

One of the great activities to look into during your time at Cape Disappointment State Park is a visit to the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center. The center stands on the cliffs above the sea in the park. Visitors can view a mural that lays out the timeline for the Lewis & Clark Expedition and see what these great explorers discovered during their journey. The center is also home to a great observation deck which provides guests with fantastic views.  After a day spent at Cape Disappointment State Park, there’s no better place to relax than at a fantastic Washington Inn. The Shelburne Country Inn in Seaview, WA is near the park and offers quality accommodations with classic American charm. It’s also the oldest continuously operating hotel in the state of Washington, so you can soak in a bit of history while you’re there too! And you can be sure that the stay will be top notch, because of the Select Registry difference.