| |

9 Unforgettable Olympic National Park Beaches

Find Out Why These Olympic National Park Beaches Are Some of the Most Popular in the Country

The Olympic National Park Beaches are the best beaches in the Pacific Northwest.  There are countless beautiful beaches in the world, but few can compete with the stunning coastline of the Olympic National Park.

These northwestern beaches are nothing like the sunny beaches that you may be accustomed to, but there is something for everyone at these stunning locations. From playful tide pools to dramatic cliffs, you can enjoy beach combing and hiking along these stunning Olympic National Park beaches.

The Olympic National Park beaches include all of the Washington State Pacific Ocean shoreline north of the Quinault Indian Reservation. The only beaches not included in the Olympic National Park are those on native reservations.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that I may earn a commission if you make a purchase through my links. This is at no extra cost to you. View our full disclosure here.

History of Olympic National Park Beaches

The Olympic National Park is located in the state of Washington, in the United States of America. It was established in 1938 and covers an area of 922,000 acres. The park is home to some of the most gorgeous beaches in America.

The park is also home to several Native American tribes, including the Lower Elwha KlallamJamestown S’KlallamPort Gamble S’KlallamSkokomishQuinaultHohQuileute, and Makah tribes. Though their ancestors lived throughout the Olympic Peninsula, the tribes now live on reservations along the shores of the Olympic Peninsula. (1)

The Olympic National Park was also the site of the first American settlement west of the Rockies, and visitors can see early pioneer homes and forts. In recognition of its natural and cultural significance, the Olympic National Park was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981. Every year, thousands of visitors come to the park to experience its beauty and learn about its rich history.

Things to Know Before Visiting Olympic National Park Beaches

Visit the National Park Service website for up-to-date information on current road conditions due to weather.

Make sure to practice leave no trace principles to continue to help protect Olympic National Park. You are also not permitted to take anything from Olympic National Park, including rocks, shells, or any other hidden treasures you discover along the way.

There is an entry Fee of $30 per vehicle which stays valid for seven days. If you have the America the Beautiful Pass, then you may enter for free. Don’t forget that military and veterans can also get free entrance with a valid ID.

The Olympic National Park Beaches are known for their harsh weather. Don’t forget to bring extra layers and a rain jacket when visiting.

Make sure to download offline maps of the park and beaches, because your cell service may not work at all locations.

Make sure to check the tide charts before visiting and to visit during low tide which it is the safest time. If you decide to camp on the beach, make sure to camp above the high tide water line.

Tides at Olympic National Park Beaches

The Olympic National Park is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. With miles of coastline and majestic mountains in the background, these beaches are truly a sight to behold.

However, visitors to the park should be aware of the dangers of low tide. When the tide goes out, it can leave behind a surprisingly strong undertow that can pull swimmers out to sea.

Additionally, the exposed rocks and reefs can be extremely slippery and treacherous. As a result, it is important to exercise caution when exploring the beach during low tide. Although it may be tempting to take a closer look at the hidden marine life, it is best to stay safe and stick to areas that are well within your comfort zone.

To help keep visitors safe, the park offers a tide chart that shows the predicted tide heights for each day.

The chart is updated daily, and it is essential for anyone planning to visit the coast. By knowing the tide schedule, you can avoid getting caught in a dangerous situation. The tide chart is just one of the many ways that the Olympic National Park helps to keep visitors safe.

9 Unforgettable Beaches in Olympic National Park                         

The Olympic National Park is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. With crystal-clear water and soft, sandy shores, these beaches are a perfect place to relax and enjoy the incredible views. No matter which beach you choose to visit, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience.

Keep in mind that you are not allowed to collect rocks, driftwood or any other keepsakes from the beaches in Olympic National Park.

olympic national park beaches - rialto beach

Rialto Beach

Rialto Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Olympic National Park. The beach is located on the west coast of the park and is known for its driftwood logs, dramatic sea stacks, and beautiful sunsets.

In addition, the beach is a great place for whale watching, as it is often visited by orcas, humpback whales, and other marine mammals.

You can also hike 1.5 miles north up the beach to find Hole-In-The-Wall at Rialto Beach. Make sure to check the tide charts before exploring the tide pools or attempting to hike to Hole-in-the-Wall. You should always plan to explore when the tide is at its lowest.

Visitors can access the beach via a short trail from the parking lot. Rialto Beach is 20 minutes from the town of Forks, WA.

first beach la push beach olympic national park beaches

La Push / First Beach

La Push is situated within the Quileute Nation tribal lands, and visitors can learn about the tribe’s rich culture and history through interpretive signage and storytelling circles.

First Beach is one of the most popular beaches in the area, even though it technically is not part of the Olympic National Park beaches because it is located inside the Quileute Indian Reservation.

The sparkling water, driftwood logs, and soft sand make it a perfect place to relax and enjoy the incredible views, First Beach is also a popular spot for surfing, but keep in mind the water is very cold year round. (40-60 degrees!)

La Push Beach does not require a hike to access and you may get there by vehicle. You can stay at the Quileute Oceanside Resort on the beach, for the most authentic experience.

Make sure to check with the National Park Service to make sure the beach is currently open to the public.

second beach la push olympic national park beaches

Second Beach

Second Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Olympic National Park. It is known for its beautiful beaches, dramatic sea stacks, tide pools, and driftwood logs on the shore.

One of the most special features of Second Beach is the Quateata Arch.  The Quateata Arch is a beautiful natural arch made out of sandstone that features a keyhole view. 

You can get to Second Beach via a 0.7 mile hike from the trailhead at Highway 110 (La Push Road).

Staying overnight?  You can find accommodations at the town of La Push or Forks, or you can camp on Second Beach with a wilderness permit.

Third Beach

Third Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Olympic National Park. It is known for its dramatic lush forest, and scenic views. The beach is a great place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the Park. There is a short trail (1.3 miles) through high trees that lead to Third Beach.

The La Push Beaches are some of the best beaches in the country, and are not to be missed when visiting the Washington coast!

shi shi beach olympic national park beaches

Shi Shi Beach

Shi Shi Beach is one of the most popular destinations in Olympic National Park and is near the Makah Indian Reservation. The beach is known for its dramatic coastline, and abundant wildlife, including bald eagles. Visitors can explore tide pools, search for agates, hike to the Point of Arches, or simply relax and enjoy the incredible views.

The beach is 2 miles from the parking area. A Makha Recreation Pass is required for parking.

ruby beach olympic national park

Ruby Beach

Ruby Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Olympic National Park. Tide pools are a favorite feature of Ruby Beach, and visitors can often find colorful starfish, sea anemones, snails, crabs, and other interesting wildlife when the tide is low.

Ruby Beach gets its name from its ruby-hued sand. Make sure you wear shoes to this beach though because it is a rocky beach.

Visitors can access Ruby Beach via a short hike from the parking lot. Whether you’re looking for a place to relax or an adventure, Ruby Beach is the perfect destination.

kalaloch beach and tree of life

Kalaloch Beach

Whether you’re looking for an adventure or a relaxing day by the sea, Kalaloch Beach is sure to exceed your expectations. Kalaloch Beach is a beautiful stretch of coastline located within Olympic National Park in Washington state. Visitors can enjoy walking along the shoreline, picnicking in the shade, or simply relax and take in the stunning scenery.

Kalaloch also provides an ideal vantage point for whale watching, as orcas are often seen offshore. There are also a variety of tide pools to explore, where visitors can find creatures such as crabs, starfish, and sea urchins. With its diverse array of features, Kalaloch Beach is truly a place of natural wonders.

The beach at Kalaloch is a beautiful sight. The gentle waves of the Pacific Ocean lap against the shore, and the sun sets over the water in a blaze of oranges and reds.

However, one of the most striking features of the beach is a tree that stands on the bluff above the shoreline. This is the Tree of Life. This unique tree stands is a Sitka spruce with a trunk more than three feet in diameter, and the branches spread out more than 100 feet.

Others call it Tree Root Cave, because coastal erosion created a cave below the Tree. A stream flows through this cave, leaving it with no soil beneath its strong roots.

Now, its roots are clinging to the cave’s walls with no nutrient-dense soil beneath to give it life. Yet, it stays alive and appears to be immortal. The Pacific Coast is known for its harsh climate and still has not managed to destroy this wonder of nature.

Visitors to Kalaloch Beach often take photos of the Tree of Life, and it has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in the area. This is a spot you don’t want to miss because it may not be there the next time you visit!

Kalaloch Beach 3

Be prepared for a steep hike down to this Kalaloch Beach. You can expect to see many tide pools filled with lots of sea life including starfish, and warm, vibrant sunsets.

You can also see seals lounging on the rocks or swimming underwater during your visit! It’s not as crowded as some of the other Olympic National Park Beaches – making it easier for you relax while enjoying this beautiful destination.

Kalaloch Beach 4

Kalaloch Beach 4 is one of the top Olympic National Park beaches for exploring incredible tide pools, according to the Kalaloch Lodge. This serene and picturesque area has an abundance of natural beauty, with driftwood scattered along its shores as well beautiful rock formations.

Kalaloch Beach 4 is a great place to get away for an hour or two. There are restrooms available in case you need them and picnic tables where families can sit together while enjoying their day at the beach!

What to Pack for Olympic National Park Beaches

Here is a general list of what you should bring when visiting the Olympic National Park Beaches:

Tide charts
Offline maps – Make sure to download an offline map because your cell service may not work on the beach.
Reusable water bottle
Wet suit if you are surfing
Waterproof hiking boots
Rain jacket: The Olympic National Park Beaches may have unpredictable weather. Make sure to always bring extra layers and a rain jacket.
Travel backpack: We bring this travel backpack wherever we go. It can fit essentials, as well as my laptop, resusable water bottle, and it even has a USB charging port.

When to visit the Olympic National Park Beaches

The Olympic National Park beaches are open year-round.  The best time to visit would be during the summer months of June through August, when the temperatures are warmer (60-70 degrees).  It will be most crowded during this time of year.

However, if you don’t mind the colder climate, you can choose to visit at any time during the year.

Where to stay when visiting the Olympic National Park Beaches

Here are some places you can stay near the Olympic National Park Beaches.

Kalaloch Lodge: Enjoy a room at the main lodge or Seacrest House, or stay in a cabin, visit the gift shop, and eat at the Creekside Restaurant.
157151 US-101, Forks, WA 98331

Kalaloch Beach Campground: The Kalaloch Beach Campground does accept reservations but make sure to make them well in advance because they do book up.

Quileute Oceanside Resort: This oceanside resort is owned by The Quileute Nation and has 15 deluxe oceanfront cabins, 18 standard oceanfront cabins, two oceanfront motel units, 10 camper cabins, a campground, and 2 full-service RV parks.
330 Ocean Drive, La Push, WA 98350

Quileute Riverview RV Park: This new RV Park has 28 spaces, restrooms, showers, laundry, and other services. You can make a reservation.
33 Mora Road, Forks, WA 98331

Manitou Lodge: The Manitou Lodge is in Forks, WA, just 3 miles from Rialto Beach. It has lodge and cottage rooms, cabins, and camping sites.
813 Kilmer Road, Forks, Washington 98331

You can also choose to stay in the town of Forks, or a little further away in Port Angeles.

Olympic National Park Beaches, Twilight, and Forks, WA

Those who have are familiar with the Twilight Saga series may be aware of the La Push beaches, the town of Forks, and the Olympic National Park. With its stunning views of the Olympic Mountains, the Twilight trilogy has become increasingly popular in recent years. Shot against a backdrop of towering peaks and lush forests, the films provide a captivating glimpse into a world of vampires and werewolves.

There is no denying their ability to transport viewers to another place and time, just as the Olympic National Park does for visitors. For many, the Twilight series is the perfect escape from the everyday grind, offering a chance to escape into a world of fantasy and adventure. So whether you’re a fan of the books or the movies, there’s no doubt that Olympic National Park is a must-see for any Twilight fan.

Twilight books and Twilight movies

Enjoy the Breathtaking Scenery of Olympic National Park Beaches.

The Olympic National Park offers a variety of parking areas for visitors. The main visitor center has a large parking lot that can accommodate RVs and buses. There is also a smaller parking lot for cars and motorcycles.

No matter what beach you choose to visit, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience at the Olympic National Park beaches. With so much natural beauty, it’s no wonder this park is one of the most popular destinations in America.

Which of the Olympic National Park Beaches is your favorite?

Tribes of the Olympic Peninsula. National Park Service.

Author: Katrina

Similar Posts