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Beacon Rock Trail - Beacon Rock State Park

Hike the core of a volcano! An easy-moderate 1 mile walk up this 845ft tall remnant of a 57,000 year old eruption.
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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 0.9 miles
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly

Overview :  Beacon Rock is a the core of an ancient volcano. Over thousands of years, hundreds of massive floods (originating in Missoula Montana... more »

Tips:  Expect wind at the base and top, but it is generally calm on the way up...so don't be fooled into over-dressing...the hike WILL warm... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Main Parking Area & Historical Info

Beacon Rock is a unique geologic phenomena, sculpted over thousands of years by the repeated cataclysmic Missoula Floods. Take a moment to read the historical information on the five sign-boards along the walking path.

NOTE: A daily or annual Washing state parks Discover Pass must be displayed by each vehicle. Daily passes are sold via an... More

2. Restrooms

There are full service restrooms (power, running water) available at the East end of the main parking area.

3. Trailhead - Main Parking Lot

This is where most visitors will start from. A short trail through the shadowed base of the the rock, leads to the official trail. Keep left to continue up the trail.

4. Trailhead (Official)

This is the original (official) beginning of the Beacon Rock Trail. However, being farther away from the parking, pay station, and restrooms...less frequently used.

5. Bridge

From here you begin to exit the wooded base area, and start hiking up/on the Beacon Rock itself. The trail get's progressively more rugged, but is adequately maintained to the top.

6. Upper Trail Gate

NOTE: GATE LOCKS AT DUSK!

Park Hours:
8 a.m. to dusk.

7. Switchbacks

8. Lookout 1

9. Lookout 2

10. Lookout 3

11. Viewpoint (Looks East)

This is one of the more unique views on the way up. Looking East/Northeast, the Columbia River is almost completely obscured from view, highlighting Pierce National Wildlife Refuge and the fertile sediment shoreline leading up to North Bonneville.

12. Summit Viewpoint - Bottom Level (Looks North)

Congratulations on nearly reaching the summit! From here you are looking North/Northwest, and can see SR-14 below. Look to your right and the "trail" extends up some stair-step rocks to the upper viewing platform.

NOTE: The upper viewing platform can be crowded at times, and has very narrow access. Use extra caution here when wet!

13. Summit Viewpoint - (Looks South)

Welcome to the top, 884 feet above sea level! From this upper viewing platform enjoy outstanding panoramic views of the Columbia River Gorge. Looking Southeast, Bonneville Dam and the Cascade Locks are visible in the distance.

This is a great opportunity to read the final bit of historical info on the sign. Try to image the raging flood waters... More