Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
240.00 ft (73.15 m)
Trail type
5.50 mi (8.85 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.

At 1,882 acres Cape Disappointment State Park packs in a lot of attractions for visitors year-round, and certainly one of the best ways to discover the many sides of the park is to hike up to McKenzie Head and through old-growth coastal forest up to North Head Lighthouse and Bell's View.

Just a quarter-mile west of Campground D, a small parking lot near McKenzie Lagoon marks the trailhead for both hikes.

First, climb a short 200 ft. in elevation up a quarter-mile long old military road to the top of McKenzie Head.  Like a scene out of a movie, a giant fern covered WWII bunker sits hidden atop of the giant basalt mound, with two mounting pads for coastal artillery guns flanking both sides of the giant concrete structure.  The bunker is completely open to the public and offers a unique insight into the previous era of the park, as Fort Canby.  And, through opening in the hill top's dense vegetation, panoramic views of park and region open up, including Cape Disappointment Lighthouse, the North Jetty, and Saddle Mountain, northwestern Oregon's highest point.

Second, hit the 1.9 mile long trail that meanders its way up to North Head.  Passing giant sitka spruces, western hemlock and thick hedges of salal this trail climbs up, over, and under more of the basalt outcroppings that make up much of the park.  Before reaching the North Head destination, the trail reaches numerous openings where views of Campground A,B + C appear as well as the park's 1.8 mile long Benson Beach.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Washington Discovery Pass


Historic Bunkers. Views of 2 lighthouses. Old-growth sitka spruce.


Limited vistas along North Head Trail.

Trailhead Elevation

10.00 ft (3.05 m)


Historically significant
Big vistas
Old-growth forest


Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping


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