Captain William Clark Regional Park at Cottonwood Beach
On March 31, 1806, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark established a camp at Cottonwood Beach while they secured provisions for the return trip through the Columbia River Gorge.
They remained at Cottonwood Beach for six days, which is the longest period of time the Corps of Discovery camped at any site in Clark County.
Almost 200 years later, a multijurisdictional effort celebrated the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial in 2006 by opening Captain William Clark Regional Park at Cottonwood Beach.
In addition to the existing water access at Cottonwood Beach, the 93-acre park also features multiuse trails, restrooms, historic interpretive elements, picnic shelters and parking lots.
- 2 shelters
- 2 barbecue grills
- 19 picnic tables
- 2 restrooms
- 2 drinking fountains
- 0.47 miles of asphalt path
- 4.17 miles of dirt/gravel trail - trail map (PDF)
- 102 parking spaces, plus four disabled parking stalls
7 am to dusk. Day use only. No overnight camping.
Captain William Clark Regional Park has two reservable picnic shelters. Each shelter can seat about 50 people and can be reserved for $75 a day.
Both picnic shelters at Captain William Clark Regional Park have four 6-foot picnic tables, a charcoal barbecue grill, spigot with cold running water, a large countertop for food preparation or serving, electrical outlets and a garbage can.
When the shelters are not reserved, they are available at no charge on a first-come, first-served basis.
Please note that both picnic shelters are located some distance away from parking and can be accessed only by foot.
Other portions of the park may be available for weddings and other events on a case-by-case basis with an approved exclusive use reservation. Air-inflated “bounce houses” are allowed with approved special use permits, but dunk tanks are not.
The master plan for Capt. William Clark Regional Park at Cottonwood Beach was developed in 2002 with extensive involvement by community representatives and public agencies.
The master plan reflects the ideas and suggestions received from the project's Steering Committee, Advisory Committee and the general public. The Steering Committee included representatives from Clark County, the Port of Camas/Washougal, and the cities of Washougal and Camas. The Advisory Committee included representatives from various recreation groups, environmental organizations, local businesses, and public agencies.
The first phase of the master plan was constructed in 2005-07. The improvements included disabled-accessible multiuse paths, a recognition plaza, historical interpretive signage and replicas of Chinook canoes, along with restrooms, parking lots and picnic shelters.
Funding partners in these improvements include:
- Clark County
- Port of Camas-Washougal
- City of Camas
- City of Washougal
- National Parks Service
- Recreation and Conservation Funding Board
- Arts Learning for All
For more information on Capt. William Clark Regional Park at Cottonwood Beach, watch this video from April 2011.