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Name: Cape Disappointment Light   Map it!

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Nearest Town or City:
Ilwaco, Washington, United States

Location: Entrance to Columbia River.

Click to enlarge: Photo    Large photo
Photo: Ann Shelton
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Managing Organization:
Cape Disappointment State Park


This is the oldest light station in the state of Washington.

Tower Height: 53

Height of Focal Plane: 220

Characteristic and Range: Alternating red and white flash every 15 seconds.

Description of Tower: White, conical stone tower with central black band.

This light is operational

Other Buildings?
Oil house.

Date Established: 1856

Date Present Tower Built: 1856

Date Automated: 1962

Optics: 1856: First order Fresnel lens (now at Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center in Fort Canby State Park) now fourth order Fresnel lens.

Fog Signal: Originally bell (now at Columbia County Courthouse).

Current Use: Active aid to navigation.

Open To Public? Grounds only.

Cape Disappointment State Park is located in Pacific County 2.5 miles southwest of Ilwaco off Highway 101. You can visit the lighthouse by parking at the Cape Disappointment Coast Guard Station’s visitor lot outside the gate and walking to the lighthouse. The walk is about a half-mile and uphill in places, and is somewhat strenuous. Please do not disturb the Coast Guard personnel in the lighthouse, as they are on duty watching the Columbia River Bar. There's also a view from the neighboring Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center (where the first-order lens is displayed). Waikiki Beach is another good vantage point.

Mapquest URL: Click here to get a map to this lighthouse!

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Nearby Lodging: Camping is available in Cape Disappointment State Park; call 800-452-5687 or the Telecommunications Device for the Deaf at 800-858-9659.

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