Storm Watching

Storm Watching

Whether you prefer to go storm watching from the indoors, your vehicle, or view from a point high above the dramatic surf, or even if you venture forth on foot while the raging winds pound high tide surf against the dunes, storm watching is an invigorating experience you won’t soon forget.

With visions of massive waves crashing against the craggy rocks at Cape Disappointment, settle in, get comfy and let the soothing sounds of pounding rain and powerful wind take you away!

The ever-changing ocean produces a show of power and drama as each weather pattern brings changes in the wind, the rain, and the currents. If you leave the comfort of the indoors for an adventure out into the storm, be careful. Stay away from large logs which shift and can be tossed upon the shore as if they were toothpicks. Watch out for sneaker waves, which can surprise even the most experienced of beachgoers.

Popular Storm Watching Spots:

wavesThe Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, at Cape Disappointment State Park in Ilwaco, is perched on the cliffs overlooking the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse and the mighty Pacific. From the Center’s panoramic windows viewers can watch the storms roll in off the Pacific Ocean, ships traveling up and down the Columbia River, and sea birds working the wind. **Discover Pass Required

Waikiki Beach, in Cape Disappointment State Park, is particularly excellent when storms meet with the high tides — these coincide with the new and full moon. From a driftwood-strewn breakwater, storm watchers will be awed by huge waves crashing into the cliffs, which support the historic Cape Disappointment Lighthouse. The rhythmic waves can throw sea spray nearly 100 feet in the air giving photographers signature opportunities. The site can be accessed through the main gate of Cape Disappointment State Park, a few short miles out of the fishing village of Ilwaco. **Discover Pass Required

Get a feel for the high seas of history!

The Graveyard of the Pacific, the area of Pacific Ocean in and around the Long Beach Peninsula, is the final resting ground for nearly 2000 vessels. Over 700 lives have been lost there. Come and learn about the history of the United States Coast Guard and their lifesaving units that were the only hope for troubled vessels. Currently, U.S.C.G. Cape Disappointment is home of the National Motor Life Boat School, a top training ground highly esteemed by Coast Guardsmen. This station is the largest Coast Guard search and rescue station on the Northwest Coast, responding to nearly 400 distress calls annually.


#309 Historic Coast Guard Station
Experience history while discovering present-day treasures! These family-oriented vacation rentals are located at Klipsan Beach, south of Ocean Park, and feature gourmet kitchens, fully stocked with movies, games, and enough indoor activities to fill the stormiest day!



North Head Lighthouse Keepers’ Residence
Located at Cape Disappointment State Park, The North Head Lighthouse Keepers’ Residence offers visitors a breathtaking view of the ocean. Hardwood floors extend from the living room into the lovely grand dining room and library. The century-old two-story Victorian-period house features a comfortable living room, a spacious tiled kitchen with modern appliances, and three bedrooms with plenty of room for the whole family!

Our local Coast Guard Station, U.S.C.G. Station Cape Disappointment won the national Top Coast Guard Video of 2013! Check out what the mighty Pacific Ocean and surrounding waters looks like through their eyes! Click here to see the other top videos submitted by other USCG stations from across the country!

Watch The Weather Channel’s newest series, Coast Guard Pacific Northwest as it hits the small screen in February! This is the third installment of their Coast Guard series. Don’t miss any of the excitement of the adventures of big wave rescues! Watch the video below for a sneak preview that was filmed during a drill near the Columbia River Bar!

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