Directions: From Astoria, Oregon cross the bridge and take a left onto Highway 101. Follow 101 into Ilwaco and then follow signs for Loop 100/Cape Disappointment/North Head. There will be signs directing you to North Head Lighthouse.
This hike starts at the end of the parking area and you have three choices for how you want to start the hike. Heading to the left takes you straight down to the lighthouse, going straight will take you to the three keepers quarters and gift shop (as well as to the lighthouse), and going right will take you up to a viewpoint.
We chose to start this hike by going straight and seeing the keeper’s quarters first. Follow the signs for the gift shop and you’ll soon be on a gravel path that takes you right in front of the three buildings. The trail continues on past the gift shop and down around the cliff edge dropping you at the lighthouse. This is one of our favorite lighthouses because you can actually go up in it. You must be 7 years of age or older and not wearing open toe shoes. It’s free for anyone 7-17 and $2.50 per person 18 and older. They allow 8 people up at a time. You get to walk the spiral staircase up to the top and there is a volunteer up there with information about the lighthouse. The views are great and it’s a nice picture taking opportunity.
We then took the other path back out, it’s wide, paved and well maintained. It takes you gradually uphill back to the parking area. Finally, we took the trail up to the viewpoint. It’s paved as well and you’ll pass by a water tower and an old bunker. The trail ends at a deck with great views of the ocean.
Distance: 1 mile
Elevation: 100 feet
Pet Friendly: Yes
Good For: All ages
Parking Fee: $10 Washington Discovery Pass
Overall: We love that you can go in the lighthouse and you can’t beat the views on the trails.