<< Salmon Homecoming on the Dungeness River

10/18/13 - Second Beach

Second Beach was one of the handful of park trails that were open during the government shutdown. The parking lot is on Quileute tribal land, though much of the trail and the beach itself are part of the park. We took the short walk through the rain forest down to the sea. It's not a real long walk, maybe three quarters of a mile, but the trees are wild, green and covered with moss.

The beach itself was easy to reach. First there is a little climb, then the forest walk, and then the twisting descent through the forest to the beach. There are glimpses of the ocean as the trail descends. Then, trail breaks out to the beach, wide, bright and open. It almost feels like going outside, but first there is the driftwood. Some years there is quite a substantial barrier. Some years it is a simple step onto the sand. Right now, most of the driftwood is gone. There is some, but it's more of a simple maze than a challenge course.

We were two hours before low tide, but it was a very low tide, so there was a lot of wet beach, gray and sparkling. The seastacks were as magical as ever. They almost seem impossible, or at least improbable, but there they are, remnants of an eroding shoreline, each with its own watershed and forested topping, an ecological island of fresh water surrounded by salt.

We made our way south, stopping to explore a few tidal pools and checking out the star fish and anemomes. The tide was far out and there was a lot of sand. We walked the still wet sand to the little sea cave and then made our way out towards the headland. In winter, this area is often rocky, but it was still summer here. We explored the coves and the rocks at the base of the far seastacks, then, well before low tide we started home.

A modest driftwood barrier

The sea and sand

A seastack

Another seastack and a tidepool

The rocks

The headland


An anemone

and friends

Starfish hideout

and more starfish

Keywords: second beach, trails