You are here: Home Find a Hike Hiking Guide Third Beach

Third Beach

» REI » Amazon

A portion of all book sales from the links above benefits WTA and helps protect and maintain our trails.

An easy hike to one of the Olympic Coast's famed wilderness beaches. Walk the wide sandy beach to the foot of a waterfall tumbling from a towering bluff right into the crashing surf. Feeling more energetic? Leave the crowds behind by grunting over Taylor Point to a secluded beach flanked by steep sea stacks and flower pot islands.

Start off on an old road through a scrappy forest of Sitka spruce, hemlock, and alder. The trail has been greatly improved over the last decade. No longer are you at risk of being swallowed by a mud hole on the way to Third Beach. After 0.5 mile the trail veers left, leaving the old road and entering a more attractive forest.

Continue walking and soon you'll hear the surf and taste the salty air. Begin a slow descent, and after 1.3 miles of hiking, voila -the beach! Hemmed in by two imposing headlands, Teahwhit Head and Taylor Point, Third Beach extends for about a mile along Strawberry Bay. Hard to imagine that this wild sweep of coastline was once explored for oil. Luckily for the integrity of the environment and for us hikers, the drillings never proved abundant or profitable.

If you care to escape Third Beach's frequent crowds, hike left (south) 0.5 mile toward the overland trail to admire a waterfall plunging from its heights straight into the pounding waves below.

Driving Directions:

From Port Angeles follow US 101 west for 55 miles to the junction with State Route 110 (signed "Mora-La Push"). (From Forks the junction is 2 miles north.) Continue west on SR 110. In 7.7 miles at Quillayute Prairie, SR 110 splits. Take the left fork (La Push Road) and proceed 3.8 miles to the trailhead, located on the south side of the road. Privy available.

Improve or add to this guidebook entry

Note: the description and driving directions for this Mountaineers Books entry are copyrighted and can't be changed.

Recent Trip Reports

Hiked here recently? Submit a trip report!
There are 45 trip reports for this hike. See all trip reports for this hike.
Third Beach — Mar 20, 2014 — Nutmeg
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming
Expand report text Hide report text
The trail to Third Beach is in great shape! The spring tide was too high for us to hike to Taylor Po...
The trail to Third Beach is in great shape! The spring tide was too high for us to hike to Taylor Point, or even get to the waterfall, but we headed north and found a lovely spot to lie in the warm, warm sun (despite the 46 degrees and arctic wind). We saw skunk cabbage, colt’s foot, salmonberry, yellow violet and even a trillium in bloom! Pics are at: http://www.flickr.com/[…]/ (along with Ruby Beach, also beautiful).
Read full report with photos
Third Beach — Sep 09, 2013 — Rudderman7
Overnight
Issues: Mud/Rockslide
Expand report text Hide report text
This was a great backpack for less strong hikers. Trail was well maintained, although a bit slick on...
This was a great backpack for less strong hikers. Trail was well maintained, although a bit slick on the downslope to the beach. We were one of 3 parties camping on the beach, one at the north end, one at the south end, and us a bit north of the creek. Overcast the first day, but glorious sun the next. Saw pelicans, seals, and even a sea otter! Came prepared with a small hatchet, found enough driftwood for a great beach bonfire. There is a mudslide, on the south part of the beach, that would be a challenge to cross heading south at high tide. Wonderful place to camp!
Read full report
Third Beach, South Coast Wilderness Trail - Toleak Point — Aug 31, 2013 — Lynchpin
Multi-night backpack
Issues: Mud/Rockslide | Mudholes | Water on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
We spent two nights down on the beach. What an amazing place to relax. We hiked down to Toleak P...
We spent two nights down on the beach. What an amazing place to relax.

We hiked down to Toleak Point for the first night. There was a most incredible sunset, and after, I don't know that I've seen more stars in the sky. Wonderful.

We made our way back to Third Beach for the second night (so we could be out early the next morning).

There's a mudslide at Third Beach that is terribly tough to get over at high tide. We did it, but I'd recommend waiting for a lower tide.

One of the ladder climbs is missing a few rungs on the overland trail at Taylor Point, and some of the steps are broken going over Scotts Bluff. Also lots of mud on both trails. But nothing slowed us down much, or the dozens of other backpackers we saw over the three days.

All in all, a great little trip. We'll definitely be back.
Read full report with photos
Third Beach — Jul 14, 2013 — Lynn
Day hike
Expand report text Hide report text
Beautiful beach. Many backpackers hiking out as it was a Sunday. There is a dead whale south of wh...
Beautiful beach. Many backpackers hiking out as it was a Sunday. There is a dead whale south of where the trail comes out at the beach about 200 yards. Looks like a tree with a tail. Mudslide makes going south impassable at high tide.
Read full report with photos
Third Beach — Jul 08, 2013 — seattlegraham
Day hike
Features: Ripe berries
Expand report text Hide report text
Cross the creek on the south side of the trail just before the snag of drift logs for easier access ...
Cross the creek on the south side of the trail just before the snag of drift logs for easier access to the beach. Some campers were hauling coolers over the tangle of logs which was pretty dangerous when a sandy path exists to the south.

Beautiful beach. Its drummed into your head, but necessary - bring a tide table. We witnessed late waking campers carrying their children on their shoulders in rough surf past tree roots in the water when the tide came up quickly. The beaches are pretty flat and can fool you when broad. They can disappear quickly.
Read full report with photos
Third Beach.jpg
Photo by Slugman.
Location
Third Beach (#23)
Olympics -- Coast
Olympic National Park
Statistics
Roundtrip 3.6 miles
Elevation Gain 280 ft
Highest Point 280 ft
Features
Coast
Waterfalls
Old growth
Wildlife
User info
Good for kids
Guidebooks & Maps
Day Hiking: Olympic Peninsula (Romano - Mountaineers Books)
Green Trails La Push No. 163S
Custom Correct South Olympic Coast

Improve or add to this guidebook entry

Note: the description and driving directions for this Mountaineers Books entry are copyrighted and can't be changed.

Map it
Red MarkerThird Beach
47.8905833333 -124.599016667
(47.8906, -124.5990) Open in new window
Document Actions
  • Print this
  • Share
Get the Guidebooks

Mountaineers three booksSelect content from The Mountaineers Books' guidebooks is featured in this Hiking Guide. Sales of the books from this website help protect and maintain trails.

> Shop Now

More hikes » Hike of the Week
Lewis River Trail (Apr 10)

Lewis River Trail

South Cascades

We're at the cusp of waterfall season! With five waterfalls in a 7-mile roundtrip, this Lewis River hike is one to keep on your April-June to-do list. If you're hiking with creaky knees or kiddos, take in the magnificent, close-in Lower Lewis River Falls. If you want a longer hike with some ups and downs, venture all the way to Taidnapum Falls, 3.5 miles in.

Get Trail News

Subscribe to our free email newsletter for hiking news, events, gear reviews and more.

What's Happening
Trails and Ales - Spokane 2014 Apr 22, 2014 Meet fellow hikers and raise a glass for trails!
Hiker Potluck in Vancouver May 28, 2014 Come out for an evening of great food, meet other hikers and learn what is happening on trails near you.
More »