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Captain William Clark Park at Cottonwood Beach

Portland Metro Area, Washington

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Captain William Clark Park at Cottonwood Beach

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  • Restrooms and shower facilities at Captain William Clark Park.- Captain William Clark Park at Cottonwood Beach
  • A small interpretive area near the entrance to Captain William Clark Park.- Captain William Clark Park at Cottonwood Beach
  • Replicas of native canoes at Captain William Clark Park.- Captain William Clark Park at Cottonwood Beach
  • The Columbia River Dike Trail that runs upstream toward Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge.- Captain William Clark Park at Cottonwood Beach
  • Cottonwood tufts from Cottonwood Beach.- Captain William Clark Park at Cottonwood Beach
  • Day use areas at Captain William Clark Park.- Captain William Clark Park at Cottonwood Beach
  • Cottonwood Beach.- Captain William Clark Park at Cottonwood Beach
  • Restrooms and showers at Captain William Clark Park.- Captain William Clark Park at Cottonwood Beach
  • Cottonwood Beach.- Captain William Clark Park at Cottonwood Beach
  • Day use areas at Captain William Clark Park.- Captain William Clark Park at Cottonwood Beach
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Close to Portland. Cottonwood Beach. Large day use area. Nearby trail.
Cons: 
Crowds.
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Region:
Portland Metro Area, WA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Team

In March and April 1806, the Corps of Discovery spent six days at a camp on Cottonwood Beach as they stocked up on provisions and generally prepared for the long journey home.  It was from this camp that William Clark and a small group discovered the Willamette River, which had somehow been overlooked by the expedition up until then.  Currently the site is one of the few areas in the country named for William Clark.

Captain William Clark Park is an 85-acre day use area on the banks of the Columbia just a few miles from Washougal, Washington.  The area boasts an interpretive structure that commemorates the heritage of the site, several restroom facilities that include showers, two large, covered group use areas, and countless individual picnic tables and barbeque pits.  Spacious lawns can accommodate groups of all kinds.  The Columbia Dike Trail that runs from Steamboat Landing to Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge passes directly through the park, making it a central stop if you prefer to divide the trail into sections. 

Best of all, the park is the main access to Cottonwood Beach, formerly the namesake for the area.  The beach is a long strip of sand that gently eases into the river, keeping the area a safe spot for kids, swimming, or watersports.  Reed Island State Park is just upstream from the beach, making this beach an ideal launch if you are looking to paddle around the island or in the Reed Island Channel.  You are likely to spot some of the great blue herons that keep rookeries on the island along with many of the other birds commuting up from Steigerwald Lake.  The beach also provides a classic Northwest view of Mount Hood over the Columbia River.

To reserve the group facilities, call 360.487.7100.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(26 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(180 within a 30 mile radius)

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