Places in the Park

Pacific Coast in Olympic National Park

The park’s wild coastline features both easy-access beaches and remote wilderness. Camp on the beaches year-round.

The park’s wild coastline features both easy-access beaches and remote wilderness.

At its southern end, South Beach, Kalaloch Beach, and Ruby Beach are just off the road; Kalaloch also has a store, lodge and campground, and South Beach has a small campground.

Farther north, Rialto Beach lies just beyond Mora Campground and is a jumping-off point for wilderness hikes heading north. It’s a longstanding tradition for travelers to get dinner to-go in downtown Forks and then head to Rialto Beach. Sit on the huge logs on the beach, eat your dinner and watch the sunset into the Pacific Ocean. 

At the northern end, the Ozette area has a campground and hiking trails to the beach. To explore Ozette Lake near the coast and hike along the coast, you can enter the park via Ozette. Head north along 112 until you reach the Hoko-Ozette Road and then drive west toward the coast. This area is home to the Ozette Ranger Station open daily from June through Labor Day. It also has a 2,000-year history of human settlement, which was largely discovered after a storm surge in 1970 eroded oceanside banks revealing remarkably preserved artifacts. Archaeologists have unearthed 300-year-old longhouses, more than 50,000 artifacts and clues to an ancient hunting and gathering society.

During whale migration, you can spot gray whales when you walk on one of two three-mile boardwalk trails to the coast. The longer Ozette Loop connects Cape Alava and Sandpoint trails via a 3.1-mile hike on a sandy and rocky beach for a 9-mile loop. 

One of the favorite pastimes on the Olympic coast is to explore tide pools, but be aware of the tides to insure a safe route home. Tides can rise up without you paying attention and strand you, placing you in a dangerous situation.