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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.

With its broad sandy beach, countless piles of driftwood, and tall Sitka spruce trees lining its edge, North Cove's Washaway Beach appears just like many other areas in South Beach* or elsewhere on the Washington Coast. North Cove is also a rapidly eroding shoreline and a symptom of global meteorological changes, however, retreating an average of 46 feet per year.

According to the local Chinook Observer and a study published by The American Geophysical Union,

Scientists pin blame for West Coast beach erosion in 2009-10 on the El Niño Modoki (“pseudo” El Niño) phenomenon, a warming of waters in the central equatorial Pacific Ocean. (Classic El Niños like one in 1997-98 form in the eastern Pacific off the coast of South America.)

Energy in the 2009-10 Modoki sent bigger waves and higher ocean water levels surging into north-of-harbor mouths and tidal inlets.

Warmer waters in the central Pacific Ocean over the next few decades will mean increased erosion along the entire length of the West Coast.**

Standing on the edge of Highway 105 toward the southern end of the Jacobson's Jetty, you can see remnants of the highway's previous route. On the east side of the highway lies the North Cove Pioneer Cemetery. The cemetery's original location was washed away; coffins were actually disinterred and drifted up onto the shore, and luckily they were able to be collected and reburied in their current location.

Note: If planning to go clamming, be sure to check with the Washington Department of Fish + Wildlife for shellfish digging regulations before heading out.

*"South Beach" is the common name for the stretch of Washington's coast that includes Westport, Grayland, North Cove and Tokeland.

** The El Niño in the winter of 1997-98 had the most dramatic affect in California at San Francisco's Ocean Beach, where it eroded a total of 184 feet in that single winter.

Logistics + Planning

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Large and secluded sandy beach.

Cons

None.

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Adventures

Southwest Washington Coast, Washington
Southwest Washington Coast, Washington

Comments

12/25/2015
Camped in this area during king tide around Christmas 2015, high tide and swells had the Pacific crashing into the infrastructure from Westport to Raymond (and elsewhere). Hard to get much time walking on the beach and not much beach to walk with the high tide, but still very impressive. Lots of flotsam, logs etc washed up to the roads and jetties.
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