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Beacon Rock State Park
East of Vancouver, WA


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Beacon Rock State Park
East of Vancouver, WA

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.

Location

35 miles east of Vancouver, WA

beacon Rock State Park - Daffodil Valley Times

Park Hours
Summer: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Winter: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for day-use only.
The park is closed to camping Sept. 30 through March 27.
Camping:
Check-in time, 2:30 p.m.
Check-out time, 1 p.m.
Quiet hours: 11 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.

Acreage
4,481.89 acres with 9,500 feet of freshwater shoreline on the Columbia River.

Acquired
Beacon Rock State Park was acquired in 19 parcels; the first in 1935 and the last in 1990, for a total cost of $1,416,721.

Historical Background
"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.

Facilities
33 campsites, 71 picnic sites, 5 comfort stations, 5 kitchen shelters, 2 adirondack shelters in group camp, 2 primitive campsites, 2 boat launch ramps, dock, 2 residences, shop/ service buildings, unorganized group camp area, 1 mile trail to the top of Beacon Rock, plus 8.5 mile loop trail to Hamilton Mountain and return. 13 miles of fire road open to equestrian, mountain bike, and hiking use.

Of Special Interest
Beacon Rock offers excellent 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 July 15 annually.

Activities
Trails
20 mi. Hiking Trails
12 mi. Bike Trails
12 mi. Horse Trails

Water Activities
Boating (freshwater)
Boating (freshwater, non-motorized)
1 boat ramp (freshwater)
916 feet of dock (freshwater)
916 feet of moorage (freshwater)
Fishing (freshwater)

Other
Mountain Biking
Rock Climbing
Wildlife Viewing

Driving Directions
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 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.

Back to State parks
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Courtesy of Washington State Park and Recreation Commission

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