Trails for everyone, forever

Home Go Hiking Hiking Guide Lewis and Clark Discovery Trail

Lewis and Clark Discovery Trail

Southwest Washington


Southwest Washington -- Long Beach Area
View map below


7.0 miles, one-way


Gain: 15 ft.
Highest Point: 45 ft.


5.00 out of 5


Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass

The only trail at Cape Disappointment State Park to allow bikes, the Lewis and Clark Discovery trail makes a wonderful outing for folks staying in the park, or anyone wanting to travel between Ilwaco and Long Beach.

Beginning in the park, park at the Beard’s Hollow overlook, where it’s possible to take the Discovery Trail over a boardwalk through swamp to the right, or straight on through coastal forest out to the beach, where the paved route zigs and zags across the sand and through dunes, grasses, and trees for three miles into the heart of Long Beach.

Several opportunities to branch into Long Beach present themselves before arriving at the main cross street, Sid Snyder Road. Here, a boardwalk lifts hikers above the dunes, offering a chance to gaze out over the big water and big skies of the Pacific Ocean, complete with kites flying and waves crashing.

Closer in, look for the gray whale skeleton and sculpture. Other landmarks dot the trail, too. Further north, a basalt pillar and sculpture of William Clark commemorate his participation in the Corps of Discovery, and still further is a weathered tree, marking the end of Clark’s northward voyage on the west coast.

Walk for a short bit, or embark on the whole thing for a round-trip hike of 16.4 miles! If instead, you want a more rugged experience, it's possible to head south from the trailhead at Beards Hollow into Cape Disappointment State Park and beyond to Ilwaco.


Lewis and Clark Discovery Trail

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 46.3044, -124.0637 Open map in new window


Southwest Washington -- Long Beach Area

Cities of Ilwaco and Long Beach, Washington State Parks

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Cape Disappointment State Park PDF Map:

Getting There

Cape Disappointment is two miles south of Ilwaco. From Kelso, take Ocean Beach Highway to the tiny town of Naselle. Here, make a left onto SR 401, driving for 12 miles to a junction of Highway 101, where a left turn would take you over the Astoria Bridge. Drive straight through this intersection, continuing on Hwy 101 for 11 miles to the city of Ilwaco and the junction of SR 100.

From Portland: Follow Highway 30 to Astoria, then get on Highway 101 north across the river and on to Ilwaco. Once you get to Ilwaco head west from the stoplight (only one in town) following the signs to Cape Disappointment State Park.

Follow 100 spur through the park to where the road begins climbing steeply. A right-hand turn here puts you in the Beard's Hollow parking area. Discover Pass required.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass

You can improve or add to this guidebook entry

Lewis and Clark Discovery Trail

13 Trip Reports

Hiked here recently?

Submit a trip report!
Trip Reports