SP Campground Review – Cape Disappointment State Park, WA
A simply wonderful state park on the tip of wild & gorgeous Cape Disappointment at the very SW end of WA.
Note/ Review updated as of last stay June 2016. Video added too!
Link to campground here: Cape Disappointment State Park, WA
Link to map location here: Cape Disappointment State Park, WA
- Site Quality = 4/5
There are two main camping areas here with very different feel and site quality:
- Main Campground (sites 1-180): The main campground is ~1.5 miles back from the main entrance and offers an outstanding 5/5 rating! All sites are large paved, flat back-ins with spacious ”sitting areas” containing picnic table & fire-pit. There is a mix of full hookup (50 Amp/water/sewer -> Sites 1-60, $45/night in peak season), partial (30 Amp/water -> sites 62-87, $40 in peak season) and non-hookup/tent (sites 92-180, $35/night in peak season), plus also Yurts. The sites are split into a snazzy “spoke and wheel” arrangement where small groups of 10 sites fan out around a central circle. This makes for very good separation and a natural, relaxed feel throughout. There is also generous vegetation, green and trees, so you only ever really see a few other RVs from your particular site. The circles nearest the beach (sites 11-20, 101-110, 161-170) are only open in summer, have a little more sun and are literally steps from the beach. A few select sites (e.g. 15-18, 104-106, 167-168) even have slices of beach views. The rings further from the beach are generally very wooded/shaded, but very private and still only a short walk to the sand. Any sized rig can fit, and all sites are on the reservation system so if you want to stay here definitely plan to book ahead. Only potential ding? There is NO (zero, nada) cell signal in Main Campground, even with a booster. It’s a complete dead zone.
- Lakeside Campground (sites 181-231): These are primitive sites located near the main entrance and they only rate around 2/5. They are located on a large grassy area by Lake O’Neil and there is no real privacy or separation here. Just stakes in the ground for each site where you pull onto the grass to camp. Most are small/uneven and best suited for tenters or smaller rigs, although a few of the sites (around 209-213) can take larger rigs. Main upside is that many of these sites are first-come-first-serve so if you don’t book ahead you may still be able to get in here. Also the sites as less expensive ($25/night in peak season) and there IS usable cell signal near the entrance.
- Facilities = 3.5/5
Basic, good facilities here. Large warm, showers and toilets all kept spotlessly clean. Biggest ding is showers are pay-only ($0.50 for 3 mins). On-site dump station.
- Location = 5/5
Camping here is worth it for the location alone. You are on the very tip of Cape Disappointment, literally steps from a gorgeous beach with views of dramatic cliffs (and lighthouses). The park itself has tons of hiking/biking trails, several beaches, a lovely Lewis & Clark Interpretive Museum and two lighthouses. You could easily spend days just exploring the park. In addition you are only a few miles away from Ilwaco the Long Beach Peninsula,which has lots of eateries, beach, beer and cocktails. Plus you are only ~25 mins drive from fabulous Astoria with it’s awesome breweries, museums and farmers market. No end of stuff to do & see here.
- Pet Friendliness = 5/5
Fabulous doggie place. Absolutely everywhere is dog-friendly except for inside the lighthouse and museum. Lots of space at camp, a huge (enormous) beach to romp on plus tons of trails to hike around the park. Park even offers doggie-bags at the campground.
Overall Rating = 4.4
BONUS ALERT = Camp just steps from gorgeous beach, dramatic cliffs, lighthouses and history!
Summary: If locations could write, this spot would be a novel. Cape Disappointment is a wild, crazy beautiful location with dramatic cliffs, beaches and not just one, but two lighthouses. There are tons of hiking trails, exceptional beaches and no end of historical interest. Plus you’re only a few miles from Ilwaco and the Long Beach Peninsula, and only ~25 mins to fabulous Astoria. The campground itself is separated into 2 main camping areas with very different feels. The Main Campground (sites 1-180) is ~1.5 miles back from the main entrance. It’s next to miles of open beach and has spacious sites with lots of vegetation that are well-separated into “spoke and wheel” type circles of only 10 sites each giving a wonderful, natural feel to the entire setting. The sites closest to the beach are literally steps from the sand and even the furthest are within easy walking distance. The only potential ding here? ZERO cell signal. The Lakeside Campground (sites 181-231) is right near the main entrance and has primitive grass sites that are less interesting and mostly suited to tenters or smaller rigs, but it does have some first-come-first-serve (great if you forget to reserve) and also the only usable cell signal in the park. This place is known for it’s crazy weather so you may get a mix of just about anything out here, but when that sun opens up the spot is simply magical. It’s a popular park so plan to book ahead if you’re coming in peak season and want one of the nicer sites. But even if you don’t stay in your RV here, I highly recommend stopping by for a visit. We LOVE this campground and will most definitely be back!
Extra Info: NO cell signal (zero, nada, zip) in Main Campground, but usable cell signal (up to 3 bars LTE) in Lakeside Campground especially nearest the entrance. There is also free WiFi at Serious Pizza. 180 sites in Main Campground, all reservable online, 50 sites in Lakeside Campground many of which are first-come-first-serve. Sites cost $40-45/night for full hookups (60 sites -> 50 Amp/water/sewer), $35-40 for partial hookups (18 sites -> 30 Amp/water), $30-35 for standard/tent sites (88 sites-> no hookups), $20-25 for Lakeside primitive sites (50 sites -> no hookups). Lower pricing is for shoulder season (9/16-5/15), higher pricing in peak season (5/15-9/15). On-site dump station.
Video Overview: Want to see it all in living color? Feel free to view our ~10 min video overview below:
NOTE/ WA State Parks has pics of each campsite on their reservation page.SPONSORED LINK:
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We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do
Dean S. says
Heading there tomorrow…your review can’t be more timely! Safe travels…
Mark Gehring says
I guess you could say you were not “Disappointed” at this Cape ( ha ha ha ). We”l be in Long Beach in a few weeks at our neighbor’s beach house, but we haven’t been to the light houses and Lewis & Clark stuff in a long time, I think you have inspired us to get over there !
Definitely not disappointed LOL. Hope you manage a day-trip to the park. Both the lighthouses and the Interpretive Center are well-worth the visit. Some pretty neat hiking around too.
Definitely have this one on our “do the first summer” list of places to stay!!
Thanks for the great pictures and info.
Glad to give ya a tip on a good place to stay.
Glad you had a chance to enjoy one of the really cool places in Washington. Hopefully, you’ll be back to enjoy more…cuz there’s dozens of places you would really like.
We’ll definitely be back. Maybe next year?
Oh Yes..You got the sweet site..I’ve been there Zillions of times…Some were very wet, even got my raincoat out to walk the beach one time.Also a great place to ride your bike all flat unless you wish to ride to the lighthouse.
The Coast Guard training center is also there and I had no problem visiting them.
We had to wear our raincoats a couple of times the week we were there. Got all kinds of weather! Loved every minute 🙂
Didn’t know you could visit the training facility. Cool!
Boo no Verizon!! Great photos and review as always, thank you!!
Yeah, I know..total bummer. If it wasn’t for the lack of Internet we would sign up to host here in a heartbeat. Such an awesome spot!
Getting ready to reserve a spot at Cape Disappointment 1-59 to attend the Long Beach Kite festival next Aug. I can’t find a source telling me the depth (driveway length) of each site. Are they all about the same size? Have a 25′ travel trailer.
Yup, they’re all about the same depth. You’ll have no issues with your sized trailer.
Susan Dennis says
Great information!! We made reservations for 2 nights, 6/28 & 29 (we wanted more nights, but all booked.) We got site #37. We’re on our way to Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend, WA to work camp through September.
Really enjoy your blog posts.
Workamping at Fort Warden. Awesome!!!! That is another terrific state park (and terrific town). Enjoy!!!
We will be doing the morning shift (10am – 1:30pm) at North Head Lighthouse both days you’re here, so come on by for a tour!