I’ve never been here and it has been a top spot to go to for the longest time. I would’ve loved to of been here on a dark, wet stormy night as I have seen photos of the waves coming in crashing providing the most breath taking views with Cape Disappointment light house in the background. Even still we were greeted with amazing views and breathtaking moments that we’ll never forget.
Took us about two and a half hours to drive down. We came down as a family. Kids were excited to explore a new place as were we. Cape Disappointment is a State Park. So you will need at the least a Discovery Pass or pay the daily fee of $10 I believe. I haven’t purchased a day use pass in forever. Since Andy fishes he generally buys the DP along with his fishing license and the parking pass is all the same window hanger.
Anyways, our first stop as we arrived at the park was Waikiki Beach. Short walk from the parking area. Plenty of places to park. Restrooms near by. Clean and provided a place to wash and even offered sanitizer. The walk to the beach started as a paved walk way that turned into a boardwalk and boy was it breath taking come the end of that boardwalk. Had the sandiest beach. The most amazing views. We were right under Cape Disappointment Light House. Which rested atop of the coolest cliff maybe 300 feet above us. We were fortunate that the tide was one of the lowest for Washington that day. There was a sea cave in the cliff that the lighthouse rested on. We were able to explore some of it by walking in, but the water did get deeper and it was DARK. Now if one were to have a kayak and a flash light, I bet it would be pretty awesome in there.
We walked about here a bit, there were a few other families gathered on the beach, but it was definitely not at all over crowded at all. The other side of the beach there were rocks that were the start of the long jetty. Which made for fun for the girls as they looked in all the tide pools looking for creatures and life. We were able to find some things, like shrimp, small fish, crap and star fish. After exploring the rocks here we decided we wanted to go check out a different spot at the park. We ended up jumping in the car and heading to another area. We went up towards the top of the cliff, in hopes that we would get a view of Dead Mans Cove, but not this time. That part of the park was closed. So it gives us a reason to come back someday in hopes of seeing that iconic view.
Instead we were able to view other areas and get a cool history lesson. There was an old battery there from world war II. It was even open so we were able to explore all the buildings hidden in the hill side and see where ammunition was kept and how the area was one of the three points that kept watch over the Columbia River back in the 40’s. Was definitely an interesting space and cool to know what it was there for. We also got an up close view of the light house. But do to the on going pandemic it was closed to people being able to go inside and viewing it. This lighthouse has been decommissioned and it no longer in service.
After our hike up and around the battery and light house we went to one other part of the beach at another location of the park. Was a bit of a walk to this particular spot. Parked the car and walked maybe a half mile maybe even three quarters of a mile to the end of the road which was the jetty. The road then turned into sand. Once we made it through the dunes at the end we were greeted by the biggest and longest beach. Beach for as long as the eye could see. In the distance, another lighthouse. This was the North Head Lighthouse. This one is in service still. Also part of the Cape Disappointment State Park area. We just didn’t explore this one up close like we did the other. Gives us something else to do upon our return to the park one day. I highly recommend checking this park out. Seems like there is something here for everyone. The beaches are plentiful. Just the same about the hiking. There is camping, and it seemed there were even yurts and cabins to be rented. We want to go back and camp so we have more time to check out all the areas we weren’t able to this time.
After we were done exploring what we did at Cape Disappointment we decided to head to Fort Stevens State Park in Oregon. Was maybe a forty minute drive. Got to go over the iconic Astoria Bridge. Over two miles long taking over five minutes to cross. One day I will play tourist in Astoria. For some reason I have always been drawn to that town just have never stayed there.
By the time we got to Fort Stevens the amount of people that were participating in hanging out at the beach was much greater than they were in Washington. We went to a particular spot on the beach I wanted to see. I wanted to see the ship wreck of Peter Iredale. Was a sailboat that had run ashore on October 25th, 1906. The ship was carrying ballast, a crew of twenty-seven and two stowaways. They were making there way to Portland from Salina Cruz, Mexico. There trip got cut short when they got caught in rough seas after spotting the Tillamook Light House off the coast of Oregon. They tried altering their course to go further out to sea before making the turn for the Columbia River but the fog and rough seas had other plans. The ship ran ashore and there were no deaths in the accident. Was going to be the plan to try and recover the ship and pull it back out to sea, but the weather was never favorable for that to happen. The salvage rights to the ship were sold in 1917, but even then nothing was done with the ship and to the day the bow and some of the hull ribs remain. Was a cool sight to see. Happy I was able to see it and my kids also enjoyed seeing it.
We didn’t spend much time other than checking out the wreckage on this beach as it was PACKED. And it didn’t seem like there was much to see or do outside of the wreckage besides play in the water or sand. So we decided to leave the park. It did seem like a nice park. There was camping going on, place was definitely busy. We decided to head down to Seaside. Which was just as busy. Checked out the beach. Was able to catch a quick glimpse of the Tilamook Lighthouse which is no longer in service either. It has now been deemed a wildlife refuge. Looking up photos of all the animals and sea life that inhabit the island are pretty amazing. I even took some time to look up a few videos on You Tube of the lighthouse and there was one of one of the care takers. Hearing his stories were pretty awesome. Worth looking into if you’re into lighthouse history.
We spent just a little time here at the beach. By this time it was getting late and we still had a three hour drive back home. We checked out some shops. Kids picked out some little trinkets as we always do on our trips. Plus its always fun and a nice gesture to help small businesses.