Hole-in-the-Wall, Rialto Beach

Olympic National Park

Western Olympic Peninsula, Washington

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Hole-in-the-Wall, Rialto Beach

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  • View north along Rialto Beach toward Hole-in-the-Wall.- Hole-in-the-Wall, Rialto Beach
  • View north along Rialto Beach toward Hole-in-the-Wall.- Hole-in-the-Wall, Rialto Beach
  • View north along Rialto Beach.- Hole-in-the-Wall, Rialto Beach
  • View south toward La Push from Rialto Beach.- Hole-in-the-Wall, Rialto Beach
  • Bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) at Rialto Beach.- Hole-in-the-Wall, Rialto Beach
  • Sea stacks at Rialto Beach just south of Hole-in-the-wall.- Hole-in-the-Wall, Rialto Beach
  • Sea stacks at Rialto Beach just south of Hole-in-the-wall.- Hole-in-the-Wall, Rialto Beach
  • Hole-in-the-wall, Olympic National Park.- Hole-in-the-Wall, Rialto Beach
  • Giant green anemone (Anthopleura xanthogrammica) in a tide pool at Hole-in-the-wall. - Hole-in-the-Wall, Rialto Beach
  • Purple sea star (Pisaster ochraceus) at Hole-in-the-wall. Most in this species are purple, but color variations are common.- Hole-in-the-Wall, Rialto Beach
  • View out toward Dahdayla Island and Cake Rock from Hole-in-the-wall.- Hole-in-the-Wall, Rialto Beach
  • Purple sea star (Pisaster ochraceus) at Hole-in-the-wall.- Hole-in-the-Wall, Rialto Beach
  • Bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) at Hole-in-the-wall.- Hole-in-the-Wall, Rialto Beach
  • Bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) at Hole-in-the-wall.- Hole-in-the-Wall, Rialto Beach
  • Rock formations and tidepools at Hole-in-the-wall.- Hole-in-the-Wall, Rialto Beach
  • Rock formations and tidepools at Hole-in-the-wall.- Hole-in-the-Wall, Rialto Beach
  • Hole-in-the-wall with James Island and Little James Island in the distance. Olympic National Park.- Hole-in-the-Wall, Rialto Beach
  • Sunset at Hole-in-the-wall, Olympic National Park.- Hole-in-the-Wall, Rialto Beach
  • Sunset at Hole-in-the-wall, Olympic National Park.- Hole-in-the-Wall, Rialto Beach
  • Sunset at Hole-in-the-wall, Olympic National Park.- Hole-in-the-Wall, Rialto Beach
  • Dusk at Rialto Beach, Olympic National Park.- Hole-in-the-Wall, Rialto Beach
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Icon geological formation. Tidepools.
Cons: 
Limited access at low tide.
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Region:
Western Olympic Peninsula, WA
Congestion: 
High
Location type: 
Sandy beach
Rocky shore
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Team

Situated near the mouth of the Quillayute River just north of the town of La Push, Rialto Beach is one of those beaches that begs you for more time. Plan on a leisurely 3-mile round-trip walk from the parking lot at the southern end of the beach to access the tide pools, sea stacks, and the unique Hole-in-the-Wall formation at the north end, and be sure to watch for otters and seals in the surf and whales in the distance.

You'll know you are getting closer to the north end as Gunsight Rock comes into view. The tide pools at this end of the beach are rich with sea life, and the rock formations are fascinating. Layers of sandstone and mudstone eroding at different rates create dramatic linear foregrounds for the sea stacks that sit a little farther from shore. The Hole-in-the-Wall formation is part of this process as well: this gap is left behind as the ocean works away at the softer layers in the larger rock, leaving a perfect frame for the sea stacks a little further down the beach.

Note: Hole-in-the-Wall does offer several backpacker campsites, but an Olympic National Park wilderness permit is required.

Backpacking Rialto Beach to Ozette

Rialto Beach is also the southern point of the roughly 20-mile shuttle backpacking trek that stretches to Ozette along the completely undeveloped and rugged coastline of the Olympic National Park. All seven of the backcountry campsite areas require an overnight wilderness permit, and reservations are required between May 1 and September 30. Reservations can be made starting March 15 by mailing in a Reservation Request Form.

Tide Pool Safety and Etiquette

Respectful and cautious behavior in and around tide pools will keep you safe and protect the fragile wildlife for generations to come. Be sure to follow these rules of thumb:

  • Particularly during returning tide, be careful and keep an eye out for "sneaker waves."
  • Only step on dry, bare rocks and sand. Seaweed and/or algae can be extremely slippery.
  • Do not step on any marine life, barnacles or mussel clusters.
  • Touch marine life only very gently. Do not pull, prod, poke or tear at any species.
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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(9 within a 30 mile radius)

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(19 within a 30 mile radius)

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