North Head Lighthouse


North Head Lighthouse Rd., Ilwaco, Washington

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About the North Head Lighthouse

The mouth of the Columbia River was known (and still is during bad weather) as the “Graveyard of the Pacific.” Its treacherous conditions that caused nearly 2,000 shipwrecks were well known early on as the Pacific Northwest opened to international shipping and trade. That’s why a lighthouse at Cape Disappointment was opened on Oct. 15, 1856; however, ships continued to run aground. So a second lighthouse was built on the northwestern spur of Cape Disappointment. It is now known as North Head Lighthouse, and continues to serve as an important navigational aid.

It overlooks the confluence of the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean, and has sweeping views of the Long Beach Peninsula, Columbia River Bar and the northern Oregon Coast.  It is also near the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center.

Proceeds from the sale of Washington Lighthouse license plates have helped keep North Head Lighthouse shining with the following restoration projects:


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