Trails for everyone, forever

Home Go Hiking Hiking Guide Lewis and Clark Discovery Trail

Lewis and Clark Discovery Trail

Southwest Washington > Long Beach Area
46.3044, -124.0637 Map & Directions
8.2 miles, one-way
Elevation Gain
15 feet
Highest Point
45 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
The rolling Discovery Trail at its intersection with Sid Snyder Way in Long Beach. Photo by Anna Roth. Full-size image
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Good for kids
  • Fall foliage
  • Coast

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass
Saved to My Backpack

This 8.2-mile trail from the center of Ilwaco along Long Beach provides a nice outing for those wanting to experience the area on foot. The route takes you through forested hills and features nice views of the ocean from the Beard's Hollow Overlook, and then beach and dune walking to the town of Long Beach. Continue reading

5.00 out of 5

Hiking Lewis and Clark Discovery Trail

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.

Hike Description Written by
Anna Roth, WTA Staff

Lewis and Clark Discovery Trail

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 46.3044, -124.0637 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

See weather forecast

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass

WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

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.

More Hike Details


Southwest Washington > Long Beach Area

Cities of Ilwaco and Long Beach, Washington State Parks

Guidebooks & Maps

Cape Disappointment State Park PDF Map:

You can improve or add to this guidebook entry!

Lewis and Clark Discovery Trail

15 Trip Reports

Hiked here recently?

Submit a trip report!
Trip Reports