BEACON ROCK STATE PARK
Beacon Rock State Park is a 4,650-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.
A dizzying mile-long switchback trail takes you up 848-foot Beacon Rock, but that's not the only way to a tip-top experience.
Rock climbing and hiking to waterfalls are the rage at this park, where there are plenty of vantage points for eagle-eye views. Cyclists and horseback riders also will find trails to the vistas from Hamilton Mountain saddle, and boaters can delight in the majesty of Beacon Rock from the Columbia River.
Beacon Rock overlooks a breathtaking section of the Columbia River Gorge, a deep, wide gouge in the earth carved by Ice Age floods. The mighty Columbia River rushes down to the ocean in a froth of whitecaps, bisecting Washington and Oregon, with walls of columnar basalt and mountains rising thousands of feet on both sides.
The park's proximity to Portland and Vancouver make it popular with locals and visitors from around the world. No matter what activities you choose at Beacon Rock, you will be awed by this special place and its stunning surroundings.
"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.
A Discover Pass is required for vehicle access to Washington state parks for day use. For more information about the Discover Pass and exemptions, please visit the Discover Pass web page
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. This campground closes seasonally.
The Woodard Creek Campground has full-hookup campsites that provide electricity, water, and sewer. These campsites are open year round.
There are two standard equestrian campsites located at the equestrian trailhead that will accommodate a horse trailer.