While visiting the Olympic Peninsula last year I decided to do something I rarely do, go to the beach. I do not visit beaches often because I am pale skinned and sunburn easily. I have even been know to burn in the shade. However the Olympic Peninsula Beaches are not your typical beaches. They are often socked in by fog and mist that camouflages the sun, which leads me to believe they are the right kind of beaches for this pale girl!
The first of three beaches of La Push is aptly named First Beach. Not really a creative name but who are we to judge? First Beach is the easiest to get to, with a road leading right to the beach. The ease of course leads to this beach being one of the more popular beaches out of the three. My visit was just as I described above, masked in fog. I did not explore First Beach much other than to admire the abundance of driftwood that had run aground. Out of all of the beaches I visited this day, the driftwood at this beach was certainly the smallest in size. First Beach is located 14 miles (22.53 km) from the town of Forks on the Quileute Indian Reservation.
Of all of the beaches I visited this day, Second Beach was the favorite. Accompanying this beach is a short 0.7 mile (1.12 km) trail out to the ocean. It was early in the morning and I had the trail to
myself which gave me an bit of sereneness.
I took a quick video of my surroundings, capturing the foggy mist seeping in through the trees along with the birds chirping as I stood awaiting the call of the Mockingjay.
I followed the trail until the forest parted, revealing the ocean, still covered in a blanket of fog, however less dense. Driftwood again lined the shoreline of the beach which resulted in me testing my agility skills as I scaled over the slippery wet driftwood to reach the beach. Fortunately I made it unscathed which for a klutz like me was a true triumph.
The tide was out during my visit and I was able to explore the barnacles and muscles that are typically hidden beneath the ocean. Also visible were Green Anemones and Hermit Crabs who were busy at work, running around the ocean floor.
Since the area was still fairly foggy I decided to skip Third Beach as I could not see much and as usual I was short on time. The trail in to Third Beach is 1.4 miles (2.25 km) one way, and while not far, it was already mid-morning and I still had to get back to Idaho that day!
First, Second and Third Beach can all be found off of La Push Road / State Route 110. First, Second and Third Beach are located 14 miles (22.53 km), 13 miles (20.9 km) and 12 miles (19.3 km), respectively, from the town of Forks Washington.
Located near First, Second and Third Beaches is Rialto Beach. Although this beach is located in the Olympic National Park, an entrance fee is not required. Another added benefit to this beach is that dogs are allowed on the beach between the Hoh and Quileute Reservations as well as a few trails. Dogs must be leashed at all times.
By the time I reached Rialto Beach the fog was lifting, however not completely gone. Large waves crashed on the beach along with some of the largest driftwood I had seen on the shoreline that day. Is there such a thing as drift trees? This beach is accessible via a short trail from the parking lot and much like First Beach, will be a more populated beach. Although the saturation of people did not scare off the wildlife, where I spotted a Black Tail Deer in the parking lot.
Rialto Beach is located on State Route 110/ Mora Road, about 5 miles from where the road branches off from La Push Road out to First, Second and Third Beaches.
Located 27 miles (43.4 km) south of Forks Washington is Ruby Beach. It was mid-afternoon by the time of my arrival and the fog of the morning had finally dissipated. Although I did not intend on stopping at Ruby Beach as I was in a bit of a rush to get back home that day, I decided to stop. Mostly because I felt slightly robbed of having a clear view of the ocean earlier in the day.
The sun was out, so I slapped on some sunscreen and took the short ¼ mile (.40 km) walk out to the beach. The beach was covered in polished rocks mixed with some sand. Driftwood adorned the shoreline as well. Out on the horizon I spotted a small bluff with a cute little lighthouse on it, helping protect passing by ships from the rocky bluffs of the Olympic Peninsula Beaches.
And while I almost did not make the stop at Ruby Beach, I am glad I did. Being that I live inland it is rare for me to see the ocean and I believe it is an opportunity that should always be taken. Although Boomer was not with me on this trip, Ruby Beach is dog friendly as long as the dog is on leash.
Boomer has only seen the ocean twice. His first visit took him some time to adjust to the huge waves crashing on the beach. He thoroughly enjoys visiting the ocean now, which means I should return with him in the future. And of course we will bring along Jovi with us, who I assume has not seen the ocean before. It should be a fun adventure introducing Jovi to the ocean. She is much braver than Boomer so I am sure she will adjust quickly whereas Boomer, the big baby, was frightened of the waves at first! In fairness to Boomer I did coddled him quite a bit as a pup and he really had no chance but to turn out to be a sissy 🙂