Scenic USA - Washington

North Head Lighthouse

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North Head Lighthouse - Ilwaco, Washington

Photo by Jim Stiles
Jim Stiles Photography

   The Cape Disappointment Lighthouse was built in the mid 1800s to serve as guardian above the dangerous river bar at the mouth of the Columbia River. For mariners approaching from Long Beach Peninsula to the north, it soon became apparent they were unable to see the Cape Disappointment beacon. The North Head Light was the second lighthouse built in this area, added in 1898.
   Here along this section of Washington's Pacific Coast lighthouse fans are in for a two-for-one treat. From the state park's campground, Cape Disappointment Lighthouse appears in southeast and northward, North Head Light is found perched 190 feet above the surf. Up on the Long Beach Peninsula, Cape Disappointment State Park roads and hiking trails wind through an enchanting old growth forest. The park also surrounds the 65 foot North Head Lighthouse. The lighthouse was refurbished in 1984 and opened to the public for tours. Under control of the Cape Disappointment State Park, the light-station is also open for overnight guests. Three unique lighthouse keepers' homes, within walking distance of the North Head Lighthouse, provide a comfortable two-story Victorian-period respite. The century-old light-station quarters feature a living room, spacious kitchen, and three bedrooms. With the entire park at your fingertips you may never miss the cable television.

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