Beacon Rock has served as a landmark for river travelers for hundreds of years. It marks the last of the rapids on the Columbia River and the beginning of the tidal influence of the Pacific Ocean, 150 miles away.
Lewis and Clark camped at its base in November of 1805, and gave it its current name. In 1811, Alexander Ross, of the John Jacob Astor expedition, called the rock Inshoack Castle, and it was known as "Castle Rock" until the United States Board of Geographic Names officially restored the title "Beacon Rock" in 1916.
The 4650-acre park features many activities including camping, trails (hiking, biking, horse), and rock climbing.
The park is also a popular site for weddings. Henry J. Biddle purchased the rock in order to build a trail to the top. The trail was built, and in 1935 his heirs turned the rock over to the state for use as a park. The Washington State Parks system includes more than 125 developed parks and covers about a quarter million acres.