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Lewis and Clark Discovery Trail

Southwest Washington Coast, Washington

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Lewis and Clark Discovery Trail

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  • Fun, winding trail along Long Beach.- Lewis and Clark Discovery Trail
  • An interpretive Discovery Station.- Lewis and Clark Discovery Trail
  • A salmon-themed bike rack.- Lewis and Clark Discovery Trail
  • Trail rules are posted at most entrances.- Lewis and Clark Discovery Trail
  • Trail maps are posted at most entrances.- Lewis and Clark Discovery Trail
  • A trail entrance in Long Beach.- Lewis and Clark Discovery Trail
  • Local art at a Discovery Station.- Lewis and Clark Discovery Trail
  • Looking toward Cape Disappointment.- Lewis and Clark Discovery Trail
  • A rocky defile.- Lewis and Clark Discovery Trail
  • A bench marking the end of William Clark's Pacific Journey.- Lewis and Clark Discovery Trail
  • Side trails abound in Cape Disappointment.- Lewis and Clark Discovery Trail
  • The Cape Disappointment Light is a side trail worth taking.- Lewis and Clark Discovery Trail
  • The ocean viewed from Cape Disappointment Light.- Lewis and Clark Discovery Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Great variation in scenery. Fascinating interpretive stations. Easy trail from the lighthouse to Long Beach.
Cons: 
More difficult trail from Ilwaco to the lighthouse.
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Region:
Southwest Washington Coast, WA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
150.00 ft (45.72 m)
Parking Pass: 
Washington Discovery Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Biking
Trail difficulty: 
Green
Total Distance: 
8.50 mi (13.68 km)
Trail type: 
Shuttle
Trailhead Elevation: 
15.00 ft (4.57 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Contributor

The Discovery Trail is an 8.5-mile mostly paved traverse through forest, wetland and coastal dunes that celebrates the Lewis and Clark Expedition's arrival in 1805. While the postcard scenery and quality trail provide reason enough to explore the Discovery Trail, it has more to offer. Along the route you will find numerous discovery stations that give insight into the natural and human history of the region. More than just interpretive signs, the stations also showcase local artwork, artifacts from the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and a whale skeleton, to name a few. Between the natural beauty, the historical significance, the lighthouse views, and the fresh air and exercise, the developers have created something to be proud of.

The main entrance to the trail is on Second Ave SW in Ilwaco. However, there are many access points along the way (North 26th, Bolstad or Syd Snyder streets in Long Beach, 38th Street in Seaview, Beard's Hollow in Cape Disappointment State Park, and others). Most of the entrances have bike racks, trash cans, bathrooms and picnic tables. From Ilwaco to Beard's Hollow there is more elevation change and some gravel trail as you pass through the forest. As you leave the state park, the trail winds through the lightly rolling dunes just beyond the beach. If you are riding a bike, the twists and turns of the northern half of the trail are sure to put a smile on your face.

Near the trailhead in Ilwaco you have the opportunity to rent bicycles during high season if you don't have your own (inquire locally for more details). Keep in mind that if you enter the trail from Cape Disappointment, you will need a Washington Discover Pass.

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(4 within a 30 mile radius)

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(30 within a 30 mile radius)

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