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Cape Disappointment, Ilwaco, WA


    Over several stays at Cape Disappointment St Park, we’ve hiked most, if not all of the trails.  They are easy trails - great for enjoying coastal forests.  We’ve camped at the state park during mostly the late winter months (February).  The weather isn’t too bad – typical NW coastal weather (rainy and windy), and we’re usually one of only a hand full of people who stay in tents.  The rest of the campers take refuge in their RVs or the park's yurts and cabins.  
    We’ve found this state park to be the best option for camping on the Long Beach Peninsula.  It has a relativity intact forest with great beach access.  And it’s only about an hour drive to Leadbetter Point. The state parks have been working hard to update their facilities for people.  It is obvious at this popular park.  They have installed yurts at some of the camp sites.  They've also done some overhauls on trails and roads.  It is a very accessible park - for people.
    During the late winter/early spring months, the amphibians are abundant.  Rough-skinned Newts practically litter the trails throughout the moist coastal forest floor, and we have to be careful not to step on them.  During the night along the roads, Pacific Tree Frogs are easy to spot and their calls filled the air.  Once while arriving at the campground at night, we spotted a Barred Owl crouched in the middle of the road.  I assumed that the owl was picking up the tasty amphibian treats that were easily available.



View from the jetty.
North Head Lighthouse at sunset
Cows Parsnip
Pacific Treefrog
Red-legged Frog


Rough-skinned Newt
The park has "improved' the facilities and trails in recent years - including this new bridge over Beard's Hallow.
Black-tailed deer are not at all weary of people.
Townsend's Chipmunk (10/10/09)
At the jetty, Brown Pelicans struggle against strong winds during one of our visits.
During a pleasent October day, Brown Pelicans dive for their meals at the mouth of the Columbia River. (10/10/09)
Heerman's Gulls make fishing for the Brown Pelicans a challenge. (10/10/09)

Watch the entire fishing process here. Those gulls are agressive!

Brown Pelican (10/10/09)
Pelicans and gulls flock at the mouth of the Columbia River. Likely they are feasting on juvenile salmon. (10/10/09)
Peregrine soars over the beach


The lighthouse on the Columbia River (10/10/09)

Bird List
American Wigeon
Ring-necked Duck
Green-winged Teal
Greater Scaup
Surf Scoter
White-winged Scoter
Hooded Merganser
Common Loon
Pacific Loon
Red-throated Loon
Western Grebe
Sooty Shearwater
Double-crested Cormorant
Pelagic Cormorant
Brant's Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Brown Pelican
Peregrine Falcon
Bald Eagle
Northern Harrier
Red-tailed Hawk
Turkey Vulture
Ring-necked Pheasant
Western Sandpiper
Wandering Tattler
Black Oystercatcher
Wilson's Snipe
Black-legged Kittiwake
Glaucous-winged Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Western Gull
Herring Gull
Thayer's Gull
Heerman's Gull
Mew Gull
Caspian Tern
Pigeon Guillemot
Rhinoceros Auklet
Marbled Murrelet
Common Murre
Rock Pigeon
Band-tailed Pigeon
Barred Owl
Belted Kingfisher
Hairy Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Olive-sided Flycatcher
American Crow
Common Raven
Steller's Jay
Violet-green Swallow
Barn Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Purple Martin
Black-capped Chickadee
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Pacific Wren
Marsh Wren
Bewick's Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
American Robin
Hermit Thrush
Swainson's Thrush
Varied Thrush
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Orange-crowned Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Wilson's Warbler
Song Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Spotted Towhee
Western Meadowlark
Red-winged Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
Red Crossbill
American Goldfinch

Other Critter List

Harbor Porpoise
Steller's Sea Lion
California Sea Lion
Harbor Seal
Black-tailed Deer
Northern River Otter
Douglas Squirrel
Townsend's Chipmunk

Shrew sp
NW Garter Snake
Pacific Treefrog
Rough-skinned Newt
Red-legged Frog
Swallowtail sp.

October 2009
January 2011
October 2011



Located: Ilwaco, WA ; Long Beach Penisula on the Southwest corner of Washington
Cape Disappointment State Park


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page updated: 10/1011