Breathe in the sea spray on this anything-but-disappointing hike out to the scenic Cape Disappointment Lighthouse, which offers a trail through a coastal forest and glimpses of the powerful Pacific Ocean.
From the trailhead parking area, set out on a rolling trail through ferns, salal and evergreens dripping moss (and likely mist). The dirt (and probably muddy) path winds downhill to a low saddle, where a social trail to the right leads to a beach, ominously named Deadman’s Cove. Though the beach may be tempting, please stay on the true trail—the park has closed these social trails to prevent erosion.
Snap some photos of the little cove and continue on as the trail. Soon, it becomes paved because the last section of the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse trail is shared with the service road from the Coast Guard compound. The lighthouse is still active, so you may see Coast Guard staff inside or on the road. Leave them to their work as you poke around the lighthouse, snap a couple photos and return the way you came.
WTA Pro Tip: Home to several trails, campsites, cabins for rent and two lighthouses, Cape Disappointment also boasts a visitor center highlighting the journey of the Corps of Discovery—Lewis and Clark’s journey from Missouri to the mouth of the mighty Columbia. If you have time after your hike, make a stop here to round out your visit—it’s located just up the hill from the parking area for the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse.