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Fort Columbia State Park - Scarborough Hill

Southwest Washington


Southwest Washington -- Long Beach Area
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2.8 miles, roundtrip


Gain: 630 ft.
Highest Point: 767 ft.


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Climb to the top of a low peak at on the Washington side of the Columbia River, then visit an historic fort, complete with gun battery and old buildings available to rent. 

From the upper parking area high above the historic buildings, head up the grassy trail, really an old road. It’s a bit steep, but you’ll enjoy views of Astoria and the roiling mouth of the Columbia as you chug your way up the switchbacks to a junction about half a mile from the trailhead.

Here you can take either the Scarborough Trail (left) or the old road (to the right). It’s a loop, so consider taking the steeper Scarborough Trail on the way up; you can enjoy the more forgiving road on the way down. Of course, if it’s been raining, the road will be more muddy and slippery, so you might want to hike up that, and enjoy the more rugged Scarborough Trail on the way down.

Whichever way you decide to go, you’ll enjoy both aspects of this little hill. The narrow trail weaves through wilder forest, dense with hemlocks and alders, while the old road provides a wider path to share with friends and better views.

At the summit, it’s possible to hike a further half mile  on the “Summit Trail”, but it’s just an extension of the road, quite boggy, and there are lots of blowdowns to navigate. Simply doing the loop will give you all that Scarborough Hill has to offer.

Head back down, then take a casual tour of the historic buildings and gun batteries at this old fort – one of three that protected the mouth of the Columbia. 


Fort Columbia State Park - Scarborough Hill

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 46.2530, -123.9181 Open map in new window


Southwest Washington -- Long Beach Area

Washington State Parks

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Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: Olympic Peninsula 2nd Ed. (Romano - Mountaineers Books)

USGS Chinook

Fort Columbia State Park PDF Map:

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Getting There

From Kelso, take Ocean Beach Highway to the tiny town of Naselle. Here, make a left onto SR 401, driving for 12 miles to a junction of Highway 101, where a left turn would take you over the Astoria Bridge. Drive straight through this intersection, continuing another mile west on Highway 101 to the turnoff for Fort Columbia State Park.

From Portland/Vancouver: Follow Highway 30 to Astoria. Take Highway 101 north across the river and turn left at the stoplight. Continue another mile west and look for the turnoff for Fort Columbia State Park.

The parking area for Scarborough Hill is above the historic buildings. Drive through the Fort and up the hill to a grassy, graveled parking area that can fit about eight cars.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

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Fort Columbia State Park - Scarborough Hill

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