TRAVEL TO TWILIGHT!
I am excited about our final beach trip of the summer to La Push, WA. We visit every year and it is one of our favorite places to visit in Washington.
La Push is a great family destination. We always go in August for better chances of warm weather. We continue to stay at Quileute Oceanside Resort and love the proximity to the beach – literally a 20 second walk. The resort has two sides for RV sites: the older and larger side, and the newer side. We prefer the newer section. Have friends or family that want to join your time in La Push but they don’t have an RV? Quileute Oceanside Resort has cabins and a hotel as well!
The beaches in the area are beautiful. Directly by La Push is First, Second, and Third Beach. First Beach is adjacent to the resort, while Second and Third beaches are a short hike through the forest and offer more amazing views. Plus, there is Rialto Beach where I have seen the best tide pools here at Hole in the Wall. Farther out are Shi Shi and Ruby Beaches.
Hike to Second Beach
The hike is about 1.5 miles round trip, winding through old growth forest. Overnight camping is permitted, but you must obtain a Wilderness Camping Permit. Be sure to time your arrival to Second Beach at low tide.
Once out on Second Beach, your eyes will be rewarded with several sea stacks and islets, known as the Quillayute Needles – the largest named Crying Lady Rock. On our hike, we headed north first to explore the tide pools by the natural arch. Turn south and you can walk for over a mile on the flat sandy beach all the way to Teahwhit Head, an impassable headland. Here at Teahwhit, you can also find another natural arch. We had a great time exploring Second Beach. Thankfully we remembered to bring our skim board. This beach is so flat and wide during low tide, perfect for the endless ride.
Hike to Third Beach
Our time at Third Beach was pretty exciting. We headed south on the beach looking for adventure and found plenty as we crossed Taylor Point using cable ladders, ropes and our hands and knees to get us up and over the headland! We ended at the other side on a small, private beach where we enjoyed the scenery and snacks before we had to head back due to the tide.
Shi Shi Beach
Out of the way, is Shi Shi Beach. I was so excited to hike here. I have always heard such great things and I wanted to see the beauty with my own eyes. It is more out of the way than most other beaches in Washington and we just haven’t spent much time in that part of the peninsula. We have traveled to Cape Flattery a few times, but never had enough time necessary for Shi Shi Beach.
The two-mile hike starts out with tall, skinny trees, a toothpick forest, if you will. Suddenly, the forest ends and you walk through an area that must have been logged. As quickly as the forest went, it starts again, this time old growth forest. Beautiful, lush old growth forest. The trail so far was on a nice boardwalk and I thought, wow, what a great trail, so maintained! Then the boardwalk ends and that’s when the mud starts. And I don’t mean a puddle we have to walk around. I mean we were wadding through ankle deep, sticky, sloppy mud for at least a mile. One way. My boys LOVED it. It was so muddy, that when we returned to the truck to leave later that day, I took one of my kid’s jeans and just threw them away! The hike ends as you traverse down a very steep bluff toward the ocean. This is the only elevation you encounter, otherwise the trail is flat.
Shi Shi Beach is beautiful. It is a long, wide sandy beach. To the south is the Point of Arches. We headed north and crossed a small headland and found a secluded beach cove brimming with tide pools and sea life. We spent a lot of time here in the cove exploring and eating a late lunch. In addition to Shi Shi Beach, you must stop at the Makah Cultural & Research Center to explore. This place is utterly amazing! The museum is filled with archaeological finds from the Ozette dig, which is regarded as one of the most significant archaeological finds of North America.
Last, but definitely not least, is Ruby Beach. I don’t know how many times we have been here, but it is still one of my favorite places. When daydreaming about our time on the peninsula, I always see Ruby Beach in my mind’s eye. It is a special place. After parking in the small lot, you take a short hike down to the beach. You will first encounter Cedar Creek, a shallow creek, which empties into the Pacific Ocean. Look up and follow the millions of smooth beach pebbles graduating in size down to the sand. You can find the perfect driftwood bench to relax while the kids play and watch the ocean circle around the sea stacks, the largest known as Abbey Island. And the sunsets here – WOW! Make sure you know the tide times. Low tides offer tide pools brimming over with sea life.
Ever wanted to venture into a rain forest? Located near La Push is the Hoh Rain Forest, a beautiful temperate rain forest receiving 12 to 14 FEET of rain a year!
Once inside the rain forest, time stands still. We chose to walk the Hoh River Trail for a few miles and found a quiet spot along the Hoh River to have snacks and eat some lunch. The water is a beautiful color of steel blue, which contrasts vividly against the lush green of the forest. The river is feed by a glacier and as the glacier moves it grinds rocks into an ash like sediment. The sediment flows down the Hoh River contributing to its milky, slate blue color. Spend some time here enjoying the quiet solitude and see if you can spy any Roosevelt elk lingering.
Sadly, our vacation came to an end and it was time to return to the real world. We thoroughly enjoyed our road trip once again to the Olympic Peninsula. It truly is a wild and untamed environment and I love every inch. I look forward to our time there again next year. New adventures. New memories. God Bless 🙂