This hike to Shi Shi Beach is the first and shorter portion of a more extensive 8-mile round-trip trek to Point of the Arches, located at the south end of this long and beautiful beach. Getting to Shi Shi Beach is its own reward, however, and if you are hiking with children or are trying to incorporate side trips to Cape Flattery, a shorter trip to the beach and north end sea stacks is still well worth the effort. This is a relatively flat hike, apart from the descent to the beach, and the short distance and big payoff makes it a great choice for families.
The trail leads through a predominantly second and third-growth forest full of lush ferns, devils club, red alder, and salmonberry form virtually solid walls of vegetation on either side of the trail, especially as it proceeds along the now decommissioned Shi Shi Road. This trail sees plenty of precipitation annually, and sections are quite muddy. Some of the lowest sections of the trail have boardwalks, but these are really more about preserving the environment; expect to get your footwear dirty on this hike.
The trail terminates at the north end of Shi Shi Beach, where you will find a backcountry site. Note that overnight stays in Olympic National Park require a permit in addition to the Makah Recreation Permit (see below). You'll also want to be sure that the tides are in your favor when you arrive; at high tide, the beach destination can be a little inaccessible.
The $10 Makah Recreation Use Permit must be purchased for all activities within the reservation and it must be displayed in the window of your vehicle. Permits can be purchased at the following locations: