Beach Camping on the Washington Coast


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A three-hour drive from Seattle, the small town of La Push is the gateway to excellent beach camping.

Before you hit the sand, there are a couple requirements for this trip to consider. Taking the 101 highway west from the Seattle area, be sure to stop in Port Angeles to get your wilderness camping permit at the Wilderness Information Center. The National Park Service requires you to carry a park-approved bear canister to store food and garbage. These can be rented from the ranger station where you get your permit if you don’t own one. For more details about rules and permits, visit the National Park Service.

La Push offers access to three world-class beaches — First Beach, Second Beach and Third Beach — all located a few miles apart. However, it isn’t possible to hike between each beach as they are all separated by dense forests and cliffs.

DCIM103GOPROThe hikes from the parking lots to each beach are on well-maintained trails. First Beach is a short hike. Second Beach is the longest at 2 miles from trail head to beach, and Third Beach is 1.2 miles from trail head to beach.

Each beach has its own feel and views, so it’s worth exploring all three.

061714_LaPush_399Sea stacks, driftwood piles, freshwater streams, mossy forests and tide pools are just some of the things you’ll see encounter at each of these beaches.

061714_LaPush_570Once you reach a beach from the trails, keep hiking. Each beach goes on for quite a ways, and you’ll usually find fewer people (if you’re looking for seclusion) the further you go.

061714_LaPush_134Choose your camp site wisely as the tide can fluctuate quite drastically… and no one likes waking up in the middle of the night to a tent full of sea water. Pick up a tide chart at the ranger station or observe the high tide marks on the beach and logs.

061714_LaPush_206Remember your 10 Essentials and Leave No Trace, and have fun beach camping!