Trail difficulty
Elevation Gain
150.00 ft (45.72 m)
Trail type
8.50 mi (13.68 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Washington Discovery Pass


Great variation in scenery. Fascinating interpretive stations. Easy trail from the lighthouse to Long Beach.


More difficult trail from Ilwaco to the lighthouse.

Pets allowed


Trailhead Elevation

15.00 ft (4.57 m)


Historically significant
Whale watching
Big vistas

Suitable for



Nearby Adventures


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