Cape Disappointment Lighthouse

Pacific County, WA

53' tall conical lighthouse tower built in 1856


Cape Disappointment Lighthouse

Photo taken by Richard Doody in 1991



Cape Disappointment Lighthouse is a 53' tall conical tower guarding the entrance to the Columbia River. The first lighthouse in the Pacific Northwest, it was first lit on October 15, 1856. In addition to the light, the station was equipped with a 1,600-pound bell powered by a striking mechanism.The fog bell was sometimes inaudible due to the roar of ocean waves and was discontinued in 1881. The light was not visible to ships approaching from the north which required construction of North Head Light in 1898. North Head was reduced from a first order to a fourth order Fresnel lens and that time and automated in 1973.

Update Log 

  • September 25, 2018: New photos from Brian Bartlett
  • May 21, 2018: Added by Richard Doody