Olympic Coast - Rialto to Sand Point

cover photo
Nov 25, 2016 - Nov 28, 2016

Hike of the coastal beaches in the Olympic peninsula from Rialto Beach to Sand Point.

Continuing on my Epic Thanksgiving holiday trek tradition, I returned to the Olympic peninsula to make a hike that I had wanted to do for a few years. Hike is from Rialto Beach in La Push north to Sand Point at the northern edge of the park.

Hike involves a lot of careful stepping on slippery rocks or navigating around trees. There are some headlands that require climbing with the help of rope ladders. Rugged beauty, solitude, the Pacific ocean!

The hike requires shuttling about 60 miles. I was unable to secure a van due to the holiday, so decided to shuttle by bike. Probably not the best decision, considering the weight of my pack and the fact that there is a serious hill to cross between the 2 beaches. It took all day for me to ride and the weather was not pretty.

Fun facts

I biked with a full pack from Ozette Ranger Station to La Push. It was tough. This is from the 2nd day from Forks to Rialto Beach. I stayed at a motel after the 50 miles of riding, most of it in hard driving rain! It took a long time for my body to deprune. Motel bed felt really good.

Timing the tides sucked. High tide near 11AM & sunset at 4:30 made things difficult.

Eroded, muddy, and wet cliff with rope ladders added some climbing excitement.

I misread a map and neglected to round a point before camping on the last night. This caused me to miss a low tide and the next day, instead of waiting 4 hours for the next one, I decided to x-country up and around. Climbing up a rocky streambed then on vines and shrubs 100 feet above took about 1 hour. Bushwhacking through dense, wet shrubbery and roots took a good 2 more hours. Needless to say I didn't save any time, but I guess it was fun in hindsight.

I had to hide my bike at Rialto since I didn't have a lock. I had to stash it deep in the woods near the trailhead and under deep shrubs. I didn't plan on returning to it before dark, so of course by the time I drove back to pick it up it was pitch black with 50mph winds. Equipped with raingear and headlamp, I attempted to find the bike up the hillside which was thick with brambles and vines. I lucked out and caught the reflection of metal after about 40 minutes of bushwhacking.

DifficultyClass 2
Distance~17 miles
Highest Elevation50 ft
JurisdictionOlympic National Park
MapCustom Correct North Olympic Coast
TrailheadRialto Beach, La Push