Cape Alava/Sand Point Loop
This loop begins with a stroll over a cedar-plank boardwalk through teeming coastal marsh and grasslands. (Careful! Boards are slippery when wet, which is most of the time.) The trail connects to its second leg on a wilderness beach strip of the Pacific shoreline, the westernmost point in the Lower 48. Camping is permitted on the beach, but it's a popular spot in the summer and reservations are required. Continue south 1 mile past the petroglyphs that can be seen from the rocks along the shore next to the high-tide line. Two miles south of this area, the trail connects to the Sand Point leg, which is an easy stroll back to the Ozette Ranger Station. A permit and reservation are required here. Call the Wilderness Information Center.
9 miles RT. Easy. Access: Ozette Ranger Station.
Hoh River to Queets River
The beaches here are wide and flat, and the surf fishing is good. With this trail's proximity to U.S. 101, you can expect to see a lot of people here in the summer, but camping is not allowed. This section, compared to the more northern trails, is fairly tame. Destruction Island Overlook is famous for its whale-watching from March to April and November to December.
Warning: Coastal hiking can be treacherous. Tides can trap you. Never round headlands without knowledge of the tide heights and times. Carry a tide chart. Obtain additional information from the Wilderness Information Center.
Up to 15 miles one-way. Easy to moderate. Access: Ruby Beach parking lot.
Sand Point to Rialto Beach
This is a coastline famous for its shipwrecks, the memorials of which dot the beach at many points, along with an abandoned mine. Other than that, there are few signs of human activity. Enjoy the sand and the mist, take in the forests that come down to land's end, and get ready for the storms that visit here regularly.
Up to 20 miles one-way. Easy to strenuous. Access: Ozette Ranger Station from the north or Rialto Beach from the south.
Second Beach Trail
Wander through a lovely forest to a sandy beach, with tide pools and sea stacks. A long set of stair steps awaits at the end. For a short walk, this is hard to beat.
.7 mile one-way. Easy. Access: Second Beach parking area on La Push Rd., 14 miles west of U.S. 101.
Third Beach to Hoh River
This trail is not a leisurely stroll. You'll do a bit of inland skirting along old oil company roads to avoid some of the more wicked headlands, and there are some sand ladders (contraptions constructed of cables and wooden slats) just beyond Taylor Point. In addition, a slightly treacherous crossing is farther south at Goodman Creek. So what's the reward for the intrepid hiker? Toleak Point is 5 miles down the beach, where there is a sheltered campsite that's famous for its wildlife. The entire area is well known for its shipwrecks, wildlife, coastal headlands, and sea stacks. The trail ends at Oil City, north of the Hoh Indian Reservation.
17 miles one-way. Moderate to strenuous. Access: Third Beach parking area, 3 miles beyond La Push Rd. left fork.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.