“An absolutely stunning trail along the Olympic Coast.”
— Isaac Bozeman
Birding · Cave · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife · Commonly Backpacked
Standard NPS regulations.
This trail will take you from Shi-Shi Beach all the way to La Push. This trail crosses rivers, climbs cliffs, rounds capes, rambles over kelp beds, winds through arches, meanders over sandy beaches, and rolls through old growth forests. Make no mistake, this is not a flat trail. Portions of this trail are flat, but that is made up by the rope assists, and the boulders one must climb.
Need to Know
Check tide charts, bring a bear can, and wear boots!
This trail starts at the end of Shi Shi Beach Trail, and ends in La Push. To competently understand this trail, look at the map (both yours and the Hiking Project mobile app
). There is important information that will be highlighted by symbols on the map. The basic gist of the trail is this: don't die, make it to La Push, round points at low tide, climb rope assists, and have fun.
This trail is particularly unique compared to most backpacking trails. On this trail you have to carefully plan out each day on the trail, due to tides. Another thing that makes it special is the rope assists, and ladders. These add a more technical parts then most routes have. This routes also passes three gems; Point of the Arches and Shi Shi Beach
, Makah Petroglyphs
, and Hole In the Wall Beach.
Between each rope assist is an overland trail that goes over the non-roundable points. Keep an eye out for the overland trail markers (red and black checkerd circle), and when on the trails make sure you are on the path by keeping an eye out for the orange tags that mark the way. Most of the rope assists are not optional, the ones that are, are marked ‘optional’.
There is no other place to find weird things while backpacking, then the coast. On the coast it is not uncommon to find shoes, hats, gloves, boats, tubs, floats, rope, and much much more. You can also find a large variety of animals on this trail. Eagles, deer, coyotes, bears, seals, sea lions, whales, orcas, raccoons, and much much more all frequent this area. And as far as finding dead animals, the coast is also best for that. The saltwater is a natural cleanser, so animals are a lot less smelly and dangerous (as far as deiseases go). But still practice caution around any dead animal. The ocean washes up all sorts of animals; skates, rays, seals, sea lions, crabs, and even parts of whale skeletons can be found easily.
Flora & Fauna
Pines, salmon berries, seals, sea lions, coons, whales, and much much more can be found here! The tide pools are especially fun to explore, just don't miss your tide window!
History & Background
Crosses through 2 or three Native American Reservations.