Sandy beach
Yes
Hike-in Required
No
Surfing
No
Snorkeling / SCUBA
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

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.

Logistics + Planning

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

National Park Pass

Pros

Icon geological formation. Tidepools.

Cons

Limited access at low tide.

Features

Backcountry camping
Picnic tables
Tide pools
Wildlife
Whale watching
Bird watching

Location

Field Guide + Map

Comments

08/19/2017
I just called Olympic National Park where the National Park passes and what not are issued and apparently there is no pass required out in that area. It is a fee free area near Rialto Beach. I plan to go out there later today.
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