09/27/16 - Third Beach

There area three beaches near the mouth of the Quillayute River near La Push. Rialto Beach to the north is the most accessible. The road goes right to the water. Second Beach just south of La Push is a 3/4 mile hike from the parking lot and offers a broad expanse of beach to explore. Third Beach, a few miles south of Second Beach, balances coastal forest and beach walking differently with a smaller beach, but a full 1 1/2 mile walk from parking lot to water.

It is a pretty, easy path through forest and fern. There are ups and downs, then a descent to the sea. The beach is guarded by a barrier of driftwood, so be prepared to clamber a bit. You can head north to the headland there or south as we usually do. This means crossing the little stream that runs from the forest and across the sand to the sea. The best hiking is at low tide, below three feet at La Push, but we made our way south towards the high headlands there to see the little waterfall.

We didn’t make it as far as sometimes. The tide was a bit high, and we had left our shoes at the stream. We also had some company. A large cat had crossed the beach not long before us. That was our excuse at least.


The forest trail

The driftwood barrier

The mighty stream

Third beach, looking south

Our feline friend

The headland and seastacks

A hazy closeup of the waterfall

The view north

The forest experience

Green and twisted branch

Forest punctuation

Keywords: beaches, third beach, waterfall


01/28/15 - Third Beach

Now that we are getting the good winter tides, we decided to check out Third Beach out near La Push. Our last visit out this way was to Second Beach which features a lovely forest walk from the trailhead near the highway down to a wild crescent of beach adorned with rocks, sea stacks and tide pools. Third Beach is similar, but the forest walk is longer, over a mile before the descent. There are long level stretches where the rain forest forms almost a dry bog, very wet, but all the moisture absorbed by the rampant vegetation. Then there is the 200 plus foot descent to the beach.

The trailhead is near a stream that runs out to the sea here. There are glimpses of the sea stacks and ocean as one approaches. Then comes the wall of driftwood. Usually the wood is bare and aged, but this year we've had storms so there were a few freshly fallen trees in the heap. It was an easy clamber as clambering goes, and in a few minutes we were on the gritty sand. We headed left, to the east - the beach faces south - where we could see a row sea stacks, but first we had to cross the stream. It was deep and the current was fast moving, so we waded across down towards the sea where the flow widened.

From here it was easy going. As we approached the headland, we could see a waterfall splashing down the rocks. We paused to check out the rocks and tide pools and then continued. Despite the region's reputation for grayness, the sun was brilliant. We checked the bluffs for eagles but saw none. The bluffs behind Third Beach aren't as high as those at Second Beach, and there is a headland trail that leads to beaches south for those walking to Oil City, that is, other people, not us.

Walking on sand, even relatively well packed sand is tiring. When we got back to the trailhead, we saved our energy for the climb out rather than exploring the west end of the beach. Third Beach is a bit more of a workout than Second Beach, but just as rewarding.


A glimpse of the sea stacks, artfully framed a la the Northwest School

The driftwood barricade: Take it one log at a time.

The rushing stream: We waded down by the sea.

Rocks and sea stacks

Another view: Look carefully and you might see the waterfall.

Alders on the bluffs

Here you can definitely see the waterfall.

The view west, our return

A last glimpse

A spot of mud with a thoughtfully placed plank

Brilliant rainforest

Keywords: third beach, tides, winter, waterfall, eagle


04/10/06 - New Tide Tables for Hikers

We've updated the tide tables for Cape Alava, La Push (Mora and Third Beach) and for the Dungeness Spit. We're trying out a new display format with less irrelevant cruft, and the good hiking days marked out in green.

 

Keywords: tides, cape alava, la push, dungeness spit, dungeness, third beach