Cape Disappointment State Park RV & Campground Guide
The Cape Disappointment State Park captures the raw and rugged beauty of the Pacific Northwest coast. At this public recreation area, just southwest of Ilwaco, Washington, enormous waves thunder against rocky cliffs, mists swirl around hidden coves, and forest trails end up at spectacular sandy beaches. A weather-beaten lighthouse watches over it all, offering a hint at the cape's storied maritime past. Lewis and Clark visited in 1805, and a military encampment watched over the mouth of the Columbia River from the cliffs during the Civil War. Today, the area is populated by history buffs, hikers, and campers who come to explore the spectacular natural environment and walk in the footsteps of the legends from centuries past. Within 20 miles, towns like Long Beach, Washington, and Astoria, Oregon, offer a friendly welcome to this border region.
RV Resorts & Campsites in Cape Disappointment State Park
The weather at Cape Disappointment State Park tends to be cool and damp all year, making an RV the perfect camping companion. From your warm, dry home base, you can enjoy the mysterious mists of fall or the cool, sunny summer days to the fullest. Make the most of your time in the region with an RV rental. At RVshare, you can even find motorhomes that come with delivery agreements for the ultimate in vacation convenience.
Cape Disappointment State Park Campground
Reserve your site well in advance at Cape Disappointment State Park Campground; this lovely campground gives you the best access to everything the park has to offer. Enjoy all of the features of your RV by booking one of the 50 full-hookup sites, or choose one of the 18 sites with water and electricity. When those are full, there are plenty of primitive sites available. Be sure to check the site length when you book as some have a limited length. The biggest sites in the park accommodate 45-foot rigs. The campground offers a camp store with firewood and a selection of essentials, and your site offers access to the bathrooms and showers. If you want a snack, just call the park cafe and order a meal for delivery right to your site. Rates for full-hookup sites start at $40 per night in the peak season and $35 per night for the rest of the year.
Eagles Nest Resort
Located a quick drive from Cape Disappointment, Eagles Nest Resort offers full hookups and plenty of amenities. Kids love the indoor pool, game room, and playgrounds while parents can appreciate the laundry room, hot tub, and hot showers. The camp store offers everything you need, including propane. This campground sits high on a ridge, so you can sip your coffee with stunning views of the ocean and forests.
Sand Castle RV Park
If you're interested in camping near the beach, Sand Castle RV Park is a convenient choice. It's a small park, offering just 38 full-hookup sites. The beach is right across the road, so you don't need to worry about parking. Your site comes with free Wi-Fi and cable, and there's a laundromat inside the park. Rates start at $36 per night.
RV Rentals Near Cape Disappointment State Park
Nearby RV Rentals
What to Do at
Cape Disappointment State Park
Inside Cape Disappointment State Park
Cape Disappointment State Park covers more than 2,000 acres of the Long Beach Peninsula. The best way to explore the forests, beaches, and cliffs is on foot; the park offers eight miles of hiking trails. The excellent Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center explains the history of the legendary explorers. For the best views in the park, put on a pair of sturdy shoes and head over to the North Head Lighthouse to climb the tower. On the eastern side of the park's peninsula, you'll find a boat launch and a long dock that's perfect for fishing; however, park officials do not recommend swimming because of the strong currents and waves.
Outside Cape Disappointment State Park
Cape Disappointment State Park sits in one of the most important maritime regions in the Pacific Northwest. In addition to its rich history, the surrounding area offers a wealth of natural beauty. Whether you want to spend your time exploring small towns or getting out into nature, you'll find plenty of options within an hour.
Sample the exceptional local seafood at Salt Hotel and Pub, which offers relaxed service and a lovely outdoor dining area overlooking a marina.
Location: 147 Howerton Ave, Ilwaco, WA 98624
Located about 2 miles from the park in the At the Helm Hotel and Pub, Waterline Pub is the perfect spot for a quick dinner. Come hungry; the exceptional menu features a selection of steak and seafood.
Type: Steak, Seafood
Location: 203 Howerton Ave, Ilwaco, WA 98624
With its relaxed vibe and a menu packed with comfort foods like fried chicken and pork chops, Rod's Lamplighter is a fun spot for a casual family breakfast or dinner.
Location: 3815 L Pl, Seaview, WA 98644
Tucked into the Shelburne Hotel, the Shelburne Pub offers stunning Art Nouveau decor and an elegant menu. It's a can't-miss spot for foodies and lovers of historic architecture.
Location: 4415 Pacific Way, Seaview, WA 98644
Dine with panoramic views of the ocean at Pickled Fish, which is perched atop the Adrift Hotel. Sip a craft cocktail before digging into locally sourced seafood and contemporary takes on American classics.
Type: American, Seafood
Location: 409 Sid Snyder Dr, Long Beach, WA 98631
Learn about the best local surfing spots and get all of the gear you need at Skookum Surf Co.
Location: 1216 48th St, Long Beach, WA 98631
If you're a knitter, Purly Shell Fiber Arts is a must-visit spot; the friendly owner offers a huge selection of beautiful and hard-to-find yarns.
Location: 157 Howerton Ave Ste B, Ilwaco, WA 98624
SkyWater Home and Gallery
At the SkyWater Home and Gallery, you can pick up a piece of locally made art to remember your trip.
Location: 139 Howerton Way SE, Ilwaco, WA 98624
Time Enough Books
With its cozy interior and excellent selection, Time Enough Books is a hotspot for families and local literary enthusiasts.
Location: 157 Howerton Ave SE Ste A, Ilwaco, WA 98624
Shop for a wide range of classic Nordic gifts and home goods at Finn Ware, a charming shop in downtown Astoria.
Location: 1116 Commercial St #4126, Astoria, OR 97103
The Columbia River Maritime Museum presents the history of the Columbia River and the role it played in shaping the United States. Some of the most interesting exhibits relate to the Columbia River Bar, an exceptionally dangerous system of sand bars and shoals that has thwarted many boat captains through the years. Don't miss the thrilling video of the bar during the winter season, when storms whip the waves to heights of 40 feet or more. While you're at the museum, you can explore the Lightship Columbia as it floats in the river.
Location: 1792 Marine Dr, Astoria, OR 97103
Experience a historic mode of transportation aboard the Astoria Riverfront Trolley. The route runs from the Red Lion Inn to the end of 39th Street; get on board at one of the official stops or flag the trolley down. Rides are just $1.
Location: Astoria, OR
See where Lewis and Clark and their Corps of Discovery spent the winter of 1805 at Fort Clatsop. Here, you can walk through a replica of the fort, watch reenactments, and learn about the Corps' experiences in the interpretive center.
Location: 92343 Fort Clatsop Rd, Astoria, OR 97103
Experience another side of the Pacific Northwest at the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge. Known for its excellent wildlife viewing, hiking, and boating, this is a great spot for families and adventurers. You can even try your luck at harvesting clams and oysters to cook back at your campsite.
Location: 3888 State Rte 101, Ilwaco, WA 98624
Stretching for 28 miles along the coast north of Cape Disappointment State Park, Long Beach offers space for everyone. Search for shells, watch the waves, and enjoy long, peaceful walks. This part of the coast is not suitable for swimming; the currents are strong year-round.
Location: Long Beach, WA
How to Get to
Cape Disappointment State Park
Cape Disappointment State Park is located just outside the small town of Ilwaco on the far southwestern tip of Washington. To get there, you can take Highway 101 from the north or south. Once you get through Ilwaco, take Highway 100 south, and the park will be on your right. If you're coming from farther up the Washington coast, take WA-103 south for a scenic trip.
Entering Cape Disappointment State Park
Cape Disappointment State Park is open to visitors and campers all year. To get in, you'll need a Discover Pass; buy it online or in-person at the park's pay stations. If you're planning to visit any other Washington state parks, the $30 annual Discover Pass is a great option.
Per vehicle, one day access : $10
annual Discover Pass : $30
With its spectacular landscape and fascinating history, Cape Disappointment State Park offers something for everyone. Are you heading to the park? Whether you're renting an RV from RVshare or bringing your own motorhome, we'd love to hear about your impressions of the park. Tag RVshare in your vacation photos on Instagram or Facebook, or send your best shots and tips to [email protected]