We all deserve a day at the Beaches of the Olympic National Park
The Beach region of the Olympic National Park, from LaPush to South Beach, is spectacular. With sea-stacks, tide-pools and miles of coast line to explore, this dog-friendly, kid-friendly area is a perfect weekend getaway. While it may make for a long day, a road trip out here to explore then catch the sunset is much needed. The Ozette Region is also beautiful, but is omitted from this piece because of the distance to get there. We want to help you plan a day trip, so if you plan on escaping to the coast, here is a great itinerary to experience the beaches of the Olympic National Park. Oh, and just for fun, we threw in a side-trip to the Hoh Rainforest!
Need An Itinerary?
Stop 1: First Beach, LaPush
LaPush is an awesome small town located directly on the Pacific Coast. The Quileute Tribe allows access to their beaches, which are equally breath-taking and awe-inspiring, and stopping at First Beach only helps to fully understand the amazing area. Walk the beach here, and stand next to a giant redwood that washed up from California. Watch for eagles, seals, migratory birds and even whales near the rugged sea stacks! Seriously, visit LaPush. The beaches give amazing views, endless piles of driftwood and wildlife in the air, along the shore and in the water. This is the only beach in LaPush that is dog-friendly.
Stop 2: Second/Third Beach, LaPush
Whether you decide to hike the mostly flat 2 miles to Second Beach or extend the trip by another mile to Third Beach, your day will be amazing. The trail to the beach is gorgeous, weaving through huge trees and ferns until you get to a perfectly northwest section of coastline. With sea stacks, tide pools, driftwood and dark yellow sand, the Beaches of Second and Third Beach may make you fall deeper in love with the Washington Coast.
Stop 3: Forks, Wa
No stop to the Peninsula is complete without dropping in on Forks, Washington. Famous for generations for the logging industry, Forks is now best known for the Twilight phenomenon. For good or ill, locals have embraced the book and movie series. If you love the books and movies, this is a must stop. You know this. If you loathe Twilight, Forks is still a must see town, with an amazing logging museum and quaint diners. Forks is a city that needs your business, and I recommend stopping and chatting with the locals, as they are good people.
Best Spots to Eat:
Pacific Pizza: http://www.yelp.com/biz/pacific-pizza-forks
Sully’s Drive In: http://www.yelp.com/biz/sullys-drive-in-forks
Stop 4: Hoh Rainforest
Would you really all the way out to the Olympic Peninsula’s west side without visiting the most famous rainforest in the continental United States? With huge trees, giant ferns, spawning salmon in moss filled creeks and elk a common sight, the Hoh Rainforest might just get you into the hiking spirit. Short trails are waiting for your boots, as are the longer trails leading to Hoh Lake and the Summit of Mount Olympus. Year round, the Hoh Rainforest is a family-friendly location with amazing sights around every corner.
Easy Trail: Hall of Mosses
Stop 5: Ruby Beach
Catching a sunset is an amazing experience, and can be done so from just a short walk from a parking lot with a bathroom. You are already on the coast, so why not stand by Abbey Island and watch the sun sink into the ocean near Destruction Island. It might be chilly in the evening, but there is no better place to watch the sun set into the Pacific Ocean than in the Olympic National Park. Ruby Beach south to Kalaloch is dog-friendly.
Other Must See Areas of Interest:
Kalaloch Lodge: http://www.thekalalochlodge.com/
Mora Beach: http://goo.gl/maps/McEL2
Bogachiel State Park: http://goo.gl/maps/6uIvc
If you are driving or hiking in wintery conditions, please be safe, use caution and always stick to your itinerary. Check Tides, Weather, Road and Trail Conditions before you go!
Buy our 52 Hikes on the Olympic Peninsula Guidebook!
Buy our Family Friendly Hikes on the Olympic Peninsula Guidebook!