Interpretive and Visitor Centers • Lewis & Clark • North Head Lighthouse • Mt. St. Helens • Sacajawea • Dry Falls
On May 16, 1898, the North Head Lighthouse was put into service as the primary navigation aid at the mouth
of the Columbia River. The Cape Disappointment lighthouse had served this function since Oct. 15, 1856; however,
ships continued to run aground at the "Graveyard of the Pacific." Due to the sheer number of shipwrecks, it was
determined a second lighthouse was needed on the northwestern spur of Cape Disappointment, commonly referred to
as North Head.
Today, the North Head Lighthouse still stands as a sentinel overlooking this treacherous body of water, the
confluence between the Columbia River and Pacific Ocean. The North Head Lighthouse is still an active aid to
navigation, although the lighthouse keepers who once tended the flame have been replaced by an automated beacon.
The lighthouse offers sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean, Long Beach Peninsula, Columbia River Bar and the
northern Oregon Coast.
The North Head Lighthouse is located two miles southwest of Ilwaco. From State Route 100, turn west onto the
North Head Lighthouse Road.
The North Head lighthouse is open for tours May to September. Tours of the lighthouse lantern room are provided by
Washington State Parks volunteers. Hours for lantern room tours vary seasonally. For current tour operation hours,
please call the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center at (360) 642–3029.
Lantern room tour admission
Admission fees to the North Head lighthouse are:
Ages 7 – 17: Free
Ages 18 and older: $2.50
Please note: Children must be 7 years old to climb the tower
The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center is located in
Cape Disappointment State Park, approximately
two miles from the North Head Lighthouse. Hiking trail access to the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse
can be found at the main parking area of the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center and the Waikiki