Olympic National Park
Olympic National Park spreads over almost a million acres, encapsulating a unique blend of ecosystems. The park is renowned for its three distinct areas - the snow-capped mountains, lush temperate rainforests, and rugged Pacific coastline. With over three million visitors annually, the park offers countless hiking trails, camping spots, wildlife watching opportunities, and, of course, some of the most pristine beaches in the region.
The Top Beaches in Olympic National Park:In this article, we will take you through the top beaches in Olympic National Park. These are:
- Ruby Beach
- Rialto Beach
- Shi Shi Beach
- Second Beach
- Kalaloch Beach
Want to find these beaches mapped out? Download the Viewbound app and you'll find these beautiful beaches along with hundreds of other things to do in the Pacific North West!
Tips for Exploring Olympic National Park
How to Get to Olympic National Park
Olympic National Park is located on the Olympic Peninsula in the northwest corner of Washington State. The closest major cities are Seattle and Tacoma. From Seattle, you can take the Bainbridge Island Ferry and then drive towards the park. Alternatively, you can opt for a direct flight to Port Angeles' William R. Fairchild International Airport, which is the closest airport to the park.
When to Visit Olympic National Park
The best time to visit Olympic National Park is between June and September. During these months, you'll experience pleasant weather and the trails and facilities will be open. However, if you don't mind cooler temperatures and want to avoid the summer crowds, consider visiting in the shoulder months of May or October.
What to Bring When Visiting Beach Spots in Olympic National Park
Remember to pack beach essentials like sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. Waterproof footwear and a good rain jacket are also recommended due to frequent changes in weather. Don't forget to bring a camera to capture the stunning vistas and wildlife.
Olympic National Park Beaches Map
Download the Viewbound app to find all the best Olympic National Park Beaches on the Map (along with hundreds of other hidden gems, hikes, waterfalls and things to do in the Pacific North West)!
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The Top Beaches in Olympic National Park
Ruby Beach, nestled on the southwestern coast of the park, offers an idyllic setting of dramatic sea stacks, driftwood-laden shores, and reddish sands - the latter inspiring its name. The beach is the perfect location for nature lovers, as it boasts an impressive array of wildlife. Majestic bald eagles can often be seen soaring above, while harbor seals lounge on the sea stacks. During the right seasons, whales can be spotted off the coast. The low tide reveals an expansive network of tide pools, teeming with starfish, sea anemones, and other fascinating marine life. In addition to wildlife watching, Ruby Beach is a fantastic spot for landscape photography, beachcombing, and picnicking. The serene setting allows for quiet contemplation amidst the natural beauty.
The wildly beautiful Rialto Beach, a short trek from the parking lot, is renowned for its dramatic sea stacks, thunderous waves, and the famed Hole-in-the-Wall - a unique natural arch that draws photographers from around the globe. Visitors can partake in a 1.5-mile hike along the beach to reach the Hole-in-the-Wall, marveling at the immense sea stacks along the way. During low tide, fascinating tide pools appear, revealing an assortment of intriguing sea creatures. The beach is also a wonderful spot for bird-watching, with several species frequenting the area. Picnicking, beachcombing, and sunset viewing are popular activities here.
Shi Shi Beach
Shi Shi Beach, a secluded treasure at the park's northwestern edge, offers a retreat into tranquility. A four-mile hike through coastal forest and headlands leads you to this beach, where dramatic sea stacks rise from the surf and tide pools brim with life. This untouched paradise is a haven for nature enthusiasts. Look out for seals, sea otters, and an array of bird species. The beach is also a photographer's dream, especially at sunset when the sky paints a vivid backdrop to the striking sea stacks. For the adventurous, overnight camping under the star-studded sky offers a memorable experience.
Second Beach provides a harmonious blend of serenity and natural drama. A well-trodden trail meanders through lush forest before unveiling this secluded beach adorned with towering sea stacks and a vast expanse of pristine sand. The beach is a magnet for those seeking peace, with only the rhythmic sound of the waves as company. Unleash your inner explorer as you comb through tide pools, teeming with colorful marine organisms. The beach is also an ideal spot for camping, with overnight permits allowing you to sleep under a canopy of stars. Wildlife viewing is rich, with eagles, seals, and sea otters among the regular visitors.
Kalaloch Beach, forming part of a seven-mile coastal strip, stands out with its safety features, especially its lack of offshore, sneaker waves. The beach's iconic Tree of Life, seemingly growing from the bare rock, has intrigued and amazed visitors for years. Despite its precarious position, the tree continues to thrive, symbolizing resilience and perseverance. The beach is a popular spot for beachcombing, with the receding tide often leaving behind intriguing treasures. The sandy shores are perfect for a leisurely stroll or a picnic while watching the waves. The Kalaloch Campground, perched on a bluff overlooking the beach, provides spectacular ocean views and is a great base for exploring the area.
Overview: The Top Beaches in Olympic National Park
Each of the beaches in Olympic National Park offers a unique allure, capturing the wild, untamed beauty that characterizes this region. Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll along the coast, an intense hike, or a thrilling wildlife-spotting expedition, the beaches of Olympic National Park offer something for every nature lover. Explore the enchanting shores of this park and immerse yourself in the raw, captivating beauty of the Pacific Northwest.