Beacon Rock State Park

Quick Facts

Beacon Rock State Park

Washington

(360) 902-8844

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Beacon Rock State Park is a 5,100-acre year-round camping park with historic significance dating back hundreds of years. The park includes 9,500 feet of freshwater shoreline on the Columbia River. Located in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Beacon Rock is the core of an ancient volcano. The mile-long trail to its summit provides outstanding panoramic views of the Columbia River Gorge. The park has over 20 miles of roads and trails open to hiking, mountain biking and equestrian use. "Beacon Rock" was originally named by Lewis and Clark on their expedition to the Pacific Ocean on October 31, 1805. It was near Beacon Rock that they first measured tidal influences from the ocean on the Columbia River. In 1811, Alexander Ross of the John Jacob Astor expedition called the rock "Inoshoack Castle." The rock was known as "Castle Rock" until, in 1916, the United States Board of Geographic Names restored the name "Beacon Rock." Henry J. Biddle purchased the rock in order to build a trail to the top. The trail was built, and in 1935 his heirs turned the rock over to the state for use as a park. Additional development was done by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The park is a popular site for weddings.

Map of Beacon Rock (WA)

Latitude, Longitude: 45.641648, -122.011070

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Activities

  • Boating

    The park offers one boat launch, 916 feet of moorage dock and a boat pumpout. A daily watercraft launching permit and a trailer dumping permit may be purchased at the park. Annual permits also may be purchased at State Parks Headquarters in Olympia, at region offices, online, and at parks when staff is available. There are six electrical hookup sites for boats at the moorage dock (these sites are closed during the winter). There is an additional fee. Winter facilities at the moorage area include two tent sites, one shower and one restroom. The boat pumpout and electrical hookup sites on the moorage dock are closed for the winter. Overnight moorage and the boat launch are available year round. Moorage fees are charged year round for mooring at docks, floats and buoys from 1 p.m. to 8 a.m. Daily and annual permits are available.

  • Bicycling

    13 miles of bicycle trails are available. The horse and bike trails are multi-use, with hikers allowed.

  • Camping

    The park has 28 tent spaces, five utility sites, two equestrian campsites, one restroom and two showers. The main camp area is an older camp in a forested setting suited more for tents than RVs. There are a limited number of sites that accommodate RVs over 20 feet and the maximum site length is 40 feet. Utility sites have electricity, water and sewer service. The equestrian campsites, located at the equestrian trailhead, feature two standard sites that will accomodate a horse trailer each, a hi-line for horses, livestock water and a CXT vault toilet. There is no potable water and no electricity. Primitive camping fee applies. All campsites are first come, first served. Winter facilities at the moorage area include 2 tent sites, one shower and one restroom. Overnight moorage and the boat launch are available year-round.

  • Climbing

    Beacon Rock offers opportunities for rock climbing, except where it interferes with nesting raptors (primarily on the south face). The presence of the falcon nest requires that the south face be closed to technical rock activity February 1 to mid-July annually; open the rest of the year. The east face is closed year-round due to environmental sensitivity.

  • Fishing

    There is fishing on the lower Columbia River, below Bonneville Dam, for sturgeon, salmon, steelhead, bass and walleye.

  • Hiking

    The park offers a one-mile interpretive trail at the Doetsch day-use area. The trail is ADA accessible. Additionally, there are interpretive signs about the Ice Age floods along the Beacon Rock Trail. Another 8.2 miles of hiking are available. The horse and bike trails are multi-use, with hikers allowed.

  • Horseback Riding

    13 miles of horse trails are available. The horse and bike trails are multi-use, with hikers allowed.

  • Picnicking

    There are two kitchen shelters with electricity in the park, plus two sheltered and 53 unsheltered picnic tables. The lower picnic-area kitchen shelter is located at Hamilton Mountain Trailhead, available first come, first served. Water and power are available in the shelter. The upper picnic-area kitchen shelter is available by reservation for groups of up to 100 people. Water and power are on-site.

  • Water Sports

    Swimming is available.

Seasonality/Weather

Closure notice: Due to freezing temperatures, the five RV campsites at the Woodard Creek Campground are closed until further notice. Park hours/updates: Summer: 8 a.m. to dusk. Winter: 8 a.m. to dusk. Limit camping is available. Click on the winter schedule for details. Technical rock climbing: The South and Southeast faces of Beacon Rock are open. The Northwest corner is open for climbing year round. The east face is closed for the protection of rare species, cultural and historical resources. Camping: Check-in time, 2:30 p.m. Check-out time, 1 p.m. Quiet hours: 10 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.

Directions

Driving

Located 35 miles east of Vancouver, Wash. in Skamania County. From Seattle: Take I-5 south to Vancouver. Just north of Vancouver, take I-205 south. Follow I-205 south to the Hwy. 14 exit (last exit before crossing the Columbia River into Oregon). Follow Hwy. 14 east. Beacon Rock and the park entrance are located at mile post 35. From Portland: Take I-84 eastbound along the Columbia River to Cascade Locks. At Cascade Locks, cross the Columbia River into Washington on the Bridge of the Gods toll bridge. Turn left onto Hwy. 14. Follow Hwy. 14 west for seven miles to Beacon Rock.

Flying

Portland International Airport is located 35 miles west of park.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(360) 902-8844

Links