Adventures on the Olympic Peninsula Coast

Adventures on the Olympic Peninsula Coast

Plan your next adventure on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula Coast

April 22 marks the 54th anniversary of Earth Day. What better way to celebrate than exploring one of Earth’s best natural wonders? The beach! The Olympic Peninsula is home to some of Washington’s most beautiful and rugged coastlines, 70 miles of which lies within Olympic National Park. Adventures on the Olympic Peninsula coast abound for everyone. Easy to access beaches near Kalaloch are ideal for families with small children. And challenging multi-day hikes in Olympic National Park are perfect for avid hikers. There’s truly something for everyone on the Olympic Peninsula coast.


Tide pooling is a favorite activity for families of all ages. Pick up a tide chart and head out to the beach as the tide retreats. About an hour before low tide is best. Look for pools in the rocks to find all kinds of sea creatures hiding within. See if you can spot hermit crabs, sea stars and anemones, or the more elusive sea slugs and chitons.

Picture of a Blood Star found during an adventure on the Olympic Peninsula.
Blood Star | Photo courtesy of Kari Larson

Ruby Beach and Beach 4 offer easy access to great tide pooling locations. On the north coast, Second Beach and Rialto Beach have wonderful tide pools. Check them out after a hike through the woods or along the beach. Be sure to pack a snack because you’ll want to spend plenty of time exploring!

Photo of Rialto beach where you can explore and adventure on the Olympic Peninsula.
Rialto Beach


There are great camping opportunities on beaches in Olympic National Park. They all require a backcountry camping permit, and some have permit limits. Click HERE to get your permit before heading to the beach. Bear canisters are required for food and other scented items when camping in the park’s wilderness areas. Always make sure you pitch your tent above the high tide line if you are camping right on the beach or within an already established camping spot just off the beach. You don’t want to wake up in the water! Remember to practice leave no trace on your expedition and pack out what you pack in.


Everything from day hikes to weeklong backpacking trips can be found on the Olympic Peninsula coast. Again, backcountry permits are required for all overnight trips within Olympic National Park, as are bear canisters. Check HERE for more information or call Olympic National Park’s Wilderness Information Center at 360-565-3100.

Short day hikes include any of the Kalaloch area beaches, First Beach in La Push and Rialto Beach by Mora for easy access. During summer months a boardwalk is laid out at Rialto Beach for wheelchair access to the top of the beach.

Photo of a family on a beachcombing adventure on the Olympic Peninsula
Beachcombing Kalaloch Beach

Longer day hikes include Ozette Loop, a 9-mile moderate hike to the coast and back, and Second Beach Trail plus Third Beach near La Push for shorter, moderate hikes. Longer backpacking trips can be made on the coast south of La Push from Oil City to Third Beach and on the north coast from Rialto Beach to the Ozette Loop trailhead.

Picture of Second Beach taken during an adventure on the Olympic Peninsula.
Second Beach | Photo courtesy of Kari Larson

Welcoming the Whales

A great activity for the whole family is the Quileute Tribe’s annual Welcoming the Whales ceremony in La Push. Every spring when whales start their migration along the Olympic Peninsula coast, the Quileute Tribe welcomes them with a traditional ceremony and salmon offering. The Quileute Tribe invites the public to attend the ceremony as they share their culture.  Welcoming the Whales will be held on Friday April 12, 2024, at 10 am at First Beach in La Push. Click HERE for more information.

Welcoming the Whales ceremony in La Push


There are wonderful opportunities to volunteer while visiting the Olympic Peninsula coast. CoastSavers and Olympic National Park help organize the Washington Coast Cleanup. They have multiple meet up points on the beaches for volunteers to pick up trash and debris left behind. This is an annual event the weekend of Earth Day. This year on Saturday, April 20, there are several beaches in Olympic National Park that will be part of the cleanup: Mora Beach, Kalaloch Beach, and Ozette Beach. The deadline for pre-registration is April 12, 2024, at 10 pm. For more information and links to register, click HERE.

Make Forks Your Base Camp

Forks is an ideal base camp for all your explorations and adventures on the Olympic Peninsula coast. Here you’ll find a nice variety of lodgings, restaurants, and things to do that will entertain your entire crew. This friendly town is home to the Twilight saga. Be sure to visit the Forever Twilight in Forks Collection of screen-worn costumes and props from the movies. Check out the Timber Museum to learn about local history back to the 1870s. Stop at Forks Outfitters and other local businesses for camping and hiking supplies before you head to the coast.

Forks Timber Museum in Forks, WA
Forks Timber Museum

There are plenty of activities for the whole family. Plan your next adventures on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula coast today!

By Guest Blogger Kari Larson, Forks Chamber of Commerce

Click HERE for upcoming events on the Olympic Peninsula.

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