Past Meetup

Backpack Olympic Beaches: First Night at Rialto Beach

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Rialto Beach

Olympic National Park, Forks, WA · Rialto Beach, La Push, WA

How to find us

One mile down the beach, on the other side of Ellen Creek, look for a Seattle Adventurer's signed tacked to a beach log and a large blue tarp in the tree just off the beach.

Location image of event venue


This will be my last coast trip this Winter. It's a 2 night trip. If you want to stay both nights, sign up for my April 20 posting also.

Meet Up Location
I will be camping on Rialto Beach on the Olympic Peninsula (just west of Forks, WA). It’s just 1.2 miles down the beach to great camp sites from the Rialto Beach Parking Lot. Easy hike, but be prepared for heavy weather (Green Trails Map No. 130S). You never know on the beaches in April. I will have a base camp set up here (look for Seattle Adventurer's signed tacked to a beach log) with a big blue tarp in the trees just off the beach.

Take caution crossing Ellen Creek. If it has been raining a lot, you will have to cross on the slippery logs. I suggest throwing sand on the logs for traction. Traction devices like YakTracks are also very helpful on the slippery logs. Take your time, work together, and be very careful.

We will have great beachcombing and tide pooling opportunities. There is also a unique natural feature near camp called the Hole-in-the-Wall. Rain or shine, expect big fires to help keep warm and toasty.

What to Bring
Just like backpacking in the mountains, you will need a good tent, backpack, a mid weight sleeping bag (25+ rating or lower), food, stove, water treatment system, etc. Make sure you have your 10 essentials. I suggest a good waterproof boot also. Gators can also be handy, but not essential. Definitely bring your camera. Be prepared for strong winds.

**A Note About the Ocean**
There are points along the Olympic Beaches where you have to use caution and cross at low tide only. This is not one of those hikes. If you are hiking down the beach at high tide in the afternoon, keep an eye on the ocean (especially if there is big surf).

Driving Directions from Seattle via Bainbridge Ferry
Use the Bainbridge Island ferry. At Bainbridge, follow Route 303 to Poulsbo and then Route 3 to the Hood Canal Bridge. Cross the bridge, following Highway 104 West to Highway 101 North. Follow 101 North (it's really going west) through Sequim and Port Angeles, and then on into the Forks area. Just north of Forks, turn onto 110 West. There'll be signs for La Push, Rialto Beach, and the Olympic National Park at this intersection. After eight miles on 110 (with two signs for us along the way), turn right on Mora Rd. (at the "Three Rivers Resort") and cross the Sol Duc river, then drive another 5 miles to Olympic National Park. Follow the road to the end. There is a large parking lot right on the beach. Travel time from Seattle (including the ferry) should be about 3.5 hours.

Camping Fees
Be sure get your backcountry permit at the parking lot. There are evelopes to pay at the trail head sign post. It’s $5 + $2 / person nightly camping fee. You must also bring a hard sided food container. Racoons are the biggest concern.

Do not leave any valuables in your car. Like all trailheads, car break-ins are common here.