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Dead Man's Cove - Ilwaco, Washington | Cape Disappointment

Dead Man's Cove is a unique beach in Cape Disappointment State Park. It's hard to access and can be seen from the Cape Disappointment Trail.

It's just southeast of the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center and just north of the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse. The Dead Man's Cove hike is a bit intense, compared to others in the area, but is well worth it for the unique perspective on the surrounding cliffs and the Pacific Ocean.

Dead Man's Cove

Where is Dead Man's Cove?

Dead Man's Cove is in Cape Disappointment State Park along the western coast of Washington state. It's a secluded cove that is not entirely easy to access.

Use the map below to navigate to Dead Man's Cove:

Dead Man's Cove Hike

The Cape Disappointment Trail is how most people get to the cove. The trail leads to the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse, which is most people's destination, and passes by the cove. It requires a bit of a scramble to get to and should only be accessed by those who are comfortable with that kind of terrain.

Dead Man's Cove
Dead Man's Cove

Once you get there, you'll find yourself in a cozy, remote-feeling cove with cliffs on either side. There is a bit of debate about access to the cove but to air on the side of caution, we'll recommend that you double-check to make sure that no new access rules have been put into place when you get there.

Dead Man's Cove View
View of Dead Man's Cove

The trail starts at a few different locations, including Fort Canby. Most people choose to park here and follow the trail southeast. Before the intersection south of the Coast Guard Station, you should see a slight path down to Dead Man's Cove.

To Do Near Dead Man's Cove

If you're in Cape Disappointment and you're looking for another way to occupy your time, check out:

Fort Canby

Close to Dead Man's Cove is the fort after which the state park used to be named after. You can still hike up to it today and learn about its history. In fact, most people start their hike along the Cape Disappointment trail at Fort Canby.

North of Cape Disappointment is Leadbetter Point State Park. It's far more secluded and quiet than Cape Disappointment is, even in the more remote Dead Man's Cove. It has some very beautiful beaches as well.

Foggy Leadbetter Point State Park
Foggy Leadbetter Point State Park

Visit the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse

The Cape Disappointment Lighthouse is one of the most popular destinations in this area of Cape Disappointment State Park. Visit it by hiking along the Cape Disappointment Trail to the end of the bluff where the black and white lighthouse stands to this day. You can also get a great view of it from Waikiki Beach.

Cape Disappointment Lighthouse Close Up
The Cape Disappointment Lighthouse

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