Welcome to Long Beach, WA

Long Beach, WA

Early this week we left Forks and headed south on winding, two lane US 101 for a 200 mile drive to Long Beach, WA.  The route provides some beautiful scenery as it moves from the coastline to inland forests and back again.

Long Beach Peninsula is on the north side of the mouth of the Columbia River.  The peninsula is known for its continuous sand beaches on the Pacific Ocean, 28 miles in extent, claimed to be the longest beach in the U.S.  There are a number of small communities on the peninsula, the largest being the town of Long Beach (pop. 1,394).  We are staying at Anderson RV Park, north of Long Beach and just across a sand dune from the ocean.

The beach is just over that dune

Looking back at the park from the middle of the dune

The view west from the middle of the dune

The Discovery Trail is a biking/walking paved trail that runs from just north of Long Beach (26th street) south along the sand dunes to Cape Disappointment State Park at the end of the peninsula (about 7.5 miles).   We parked the Jeep in the Breakers Motel lot (an area designated for trail riders) and road our bikes down to the park entrance.

26th Street entrance to the trail

The trail twists and turns as it goes through the grasses along the dunes, with some nice ocean views along the way.

At one point along the trail there is a marker commemorating a visit by William Clark and a group from the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery Expedition.  Clark and the small group first saw the Pacific Ocean from this area in November of 1805.

On the back of the stone marker is an inscription quoting Clark telling about an encounter with a Sturgeon along the beach.

John’s mother’s maiden name was Sturgeon so he had to share that information with Lt. Clark, who was standing next to the Sturgeon near the marker.  Clark did not appear to be impressed by this information.

Various other sculptors and carvings are placed along the trail.

The wind seems to blow constantly around here and it was at our back on the way south, making for a very pleasant ride.  But the return trip?  Not so nice!

We returned to the Jeep, put the bikes away, and headed into Long Beach to do the “drive on the beach” thing.

The tide was coming in so there was not a very large area of packed sand, but we did enjoy the experience.

As we headed off the beach on the hard packed road we encountered one poor guy who turned off the road a little to soon.  He was trying to push the car forward on to the packed sand while his very unhappy wife drove.  The two little children in the back seat (ages 2 yrs. and 4 mo.) were no help at all.

John stopped to help and, after cleaning a path ahead of the front wheels, they were able to get the family to safety.

Tomorrow we’ll head across the Columbia River to visit the town of Astoria.  More on that later. . .

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27 Responses to Welcome to Long Beach, WA

  1. Box Canyon Blogger Mark says:

    We stayed there! Rode our bikes on the packed sand south, hopped the bike path all the way to the cool little port town of Ilwaco….then barely made it back to the Rv park. I was ready to stop and get a motel, in fact. 🙂

  2. Glad you are enjoying touring the coast and learning the history behind it.
    Looks like a great riding path.
    Be Safe and Enjoy your visit to Astoria.

    It’s about time.

  3. Gay says:

    Nice bike path. Fun photo with John and Lt Clark. Oh the stories they could share! It’s so fun driving on the beach! Awesome sunset photo…

  4. Isn’t it awesome to have the beach right there!?!?!?!

  5. Sue says:

    I love the beach, walking or driving. I have to admit being able to drive along on the sand is a very nice luxury when the wind is howling and the air is cold. I still get to hunt for sand dollars!

  6. Sherry says:

    What a great bike path. Love the sculptures. So sorry John that Clark wasn’t very interested. Sweet to have a path directly from your campground to the beach. Although I just don’t get cars on the beach. Why? They sure don’t enhance its beauty. Nice of you to help the Oppps Family.

  7. pmbweaver says:

    What a nice jester of John to help that family. That would be scary.
    I love those sculptures. I cannot believe John could not make Lt. Clark listen to his story. Poor John.
    The bike trail looks great. How neat to stand where L/C saw the Pacific for the first time.

  8. Kathy says:

    In Astoria there is a great fish and chips eatery you shouldn’t miss. The name is Bowpickers. It is like a food truck but is in an old boat. There is usually a long line but it is worth it.

    • placestheygo says:

      Thanks for sharing, Kathy! We did see Bowpickers and knew all about it, but they are closed Monday and Tuesday. Tuesday was the best weather day for our visit so we missed it.

  9. Larry says:

    Looks like a good spot and wish we’d known about it while out that way. We also managed to get our car stuck in the beach sand in Oregon.

  10. Jodee Gravel says:

    Love the sculptures in the sea grass! There’s just something about driving along the beach that is so fun. That sand at the entrance is pretty deep, I’m not surprised that little sedan got stuck. Good on John for helping them get out 🙂

    • placestheygo says:

      Not sure why the couple decided to turn to the beach where they did. If they had gone a few yards further straight ahead then turned, all would have been fine. The wife was not too happy!

  11. Laurel says:

    So glad you got to ride the bike trail, but bummer that there was so much wind. We had just a light breeze when we rode, so I guess we lucked out! Loved all of the sculptures along the path. John, you are hilarious with that sturgeon! So kind of you to help out that poor family stuck in the sand. Looks like your RV park is in a perfect location. I’m hoping you’re getting some great seafood from Ole Bob’s. :-))

    • placestheygo says:

      The wind wasn’t as bad as it could have been because the path is slightly protected with the dune grasses on both sides. It gave us a good workout returning. We are planning another ride today with a late lunch on the way back!! Our park is a perfect location and about as close as you can get to the beach with the dunes all down the peninsula.

  12. geogypsy2u says:

    Yet another place filled with memories but now seems way more developed. I do remember helping push a car or two off the beach though.

  13. We had stayed in a B&B previously and enjoyed seeing your pictures to remind us of the place. Those bike rides on the ocean turn into work when they start out nice.

  14. That was Johns good deed for the day! Good job! Lt Clark probably was saying this guy must be from another planet with his head gear!.
    It was spring time when we stopped there and while the trail by the beach was inviting the cold breeze stopped us.

  15. Debbie L says:

    Such adventures! Maybe one day we can follow your path in the great NW!

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