South of Third Beach
Length: 8 Miles Roundtrip
This hike is a beach hike along the south section of the Olympic National Park wilderness ocean. The path covers both beach, tide pools, and some hikes through some lovely woods. This is a very nice and peaceful place to spend the weekend.
The trail starts from the parking lot and heads down to the beach at 1.5 miles. The trail is fairly level until it drops about 300 feet down to third beach. This beach is faily crowded in the summer with young people carrying ice chest full of their favorite beverages and families out for the weekend camping experience.
Contine south along the beach. You will encounter Taylor Point, a point which cannot be rounded even at low tide. Look up to your left (east), you will see a very steep slope with a park provided cable and wood ladder. Climb this ladder and then find another ladder up an even steeper slope. Climb up and after making the usual jokes about how a beach hike can have a elevation gain, walk through a lovely forest for about 3/4 of a mile. You will then encounter a drop to a small creek. Climb up the other side of the creek and contine through some more lovely woods 3/4 of a mile. You will then descend quickly some 250 feet (on some nice park made stairs) to the beach once again. The beach is very small but continue around a small point which can be gotton around during low tide or hiked over.
If you decide to hike farther, you will encounter Strawberry Point at the 5 Mile point and after that point you will reach Toleak Point at 6.5 miles.
Location: From Seattle you can take the Winslow ferry from downtown and then drive to the Hood Canel. Keep driving until you run into US 101 and take 101 North. Drive all the way (it is a very scenic drive) past Port Angeles (a nice side trip is to see Hurricane Ridge) and out to the coast. Take right turn on the La Push Road. Follow the very good signs to the parking lot at 12 miles from US 101.
WARNING: Do not leave any valuables in your car. There has been reports of many car break-ins.