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Third Beach

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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.

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Recent Trip Reports

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There are 45 trip reports for this hike. See all trip reports for this hike.
Third Beach — Nov 05, 2011 — justpeachy
Day hike
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It was very chilly, but thankfully there was no rain. We had a nice walk through the forest down to ...
It was very chilly, but thankfully there was no rain. We had a nice walk through the forest down to the beach and then a nice walk south along the beach until we couldn't walk any further. A gorgeous spot and not too hard a hike!

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South Coast Wilderness Trail - Toleak Point, Third Beach — Jul 29, 2011 — Jon Lee
Overnight
Issues: Mudholes | Water on trail
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This was a fairly important hike to me. Whilst commuting by bicycle back in February, a nice Doberm...
This was a fairly important hike to me. Whilst commuting by bicycle back in February, a nice Doberman Pinscher came along and sunk it's teeth into my leg. This lead to some health troubles and a long road to recovery.

After all this, I've slowly been working to get back into shape, get muscle tone back, etc. Last week, in another milestone hike, I hiked Dirtyface, showing that I could once again undertake a challenging hike. This hike, to Toleak Point, was my return to carrying a big overnight pack.

With almost every high-country destination still snowed in, the choise of destination was pretty straightforward. Judging from the line at the WIC in Port Angeles, everybody else thought so too. Oh well.

True to the nature of the REALLY wet side of the mountains, I approach the trailhead under a light misting rain. This had stopped by the time I hit the trail, and most of my hike was under cool, cloudy skies. The overland trails had a couple of man-eating mudholes, but at least all the ropes and ladders were in place. And, of course, hiking on the beach was sublime. I reached Toleak Point, set up came, and watched the sun finally burn through. I spent severall idyllic hours roaming the beach before bedtime.

Morning again brought a nice cloud layer and delightful hiking conditions. It'd almost feel wrong to hike the Washington coast under sunshine. Clouds, rain, yes. But sunny skies would almost diminish the experience. ;-)

After returning to the car, I made the quick drive to Rialto Beach, and did a short jaunt to hole-in-the-wall for lunch. Sooooooo nice!
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Third Beach — Jul 09, 2011 — TripleHHikers
Day hike
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Third beach is an easy 1.4 mile hike down. Good parking--it's on a main road and there are signs th...
Third beach is an easy 1.4 mile hike down. Good parking--it's on a main road and there are signs that there have been lots of theft but we had no problem with that...although there isn't much valuable in our truck anyway. You'll find a few campers there and we even had a deer join us for a walk down the beach. See our review on our blog for pictures!

http://triplehhikers.blogspot.com/2011/07/third-beach.html
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Third Beach — Jul 08, 2011 — Kahrin
Multi-night backpack
Features: Wildflowers blooming | Ripe berries
Issues: Mudholes
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The weather was beautiful throughout the weekend. We drove in from Seattle on July 8th late in the e...
The weather was beautiful throughout the weekend. We drove in from Seattle on July 8th late in the evening and camped the first night at Mora campground. The next day early morning we picked up our camp and we hiked to Rialto beach and Hole in wall, while we waited for low tide. At around 1pm we started our hike at the Third beach trailhead heading to Toleak point. Even though the parking lot was packed, we pretty much had the trail to ourselves. The trails were in great shape. So were the ropes and ladders. We made it to Strawberry Point and decided to camp there because a lot of hikers were heading out to Toleak Point. Good thing we did, cause we had the beach all to ourselves!!! Amazing!. The only thing is that at night when the high tide came in (it was predicted to be an 8.4) it got very close to our tents, within 4 feet, we did not expect this so we were not very sure what was going to happen. Luckily, the sea settled down and we were fine on our spots. The next day, we broke camp and backpacked out.
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South Coast Wilderness Trail - Toleak Point, South Coast Hike, Third Beach — Jul 02, 2011 — MikeOnAHike
Multi-night backpack
Issues: Overgrown | Mudholes
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This hike is well worth the extra effort of shuttling cars and timing the tides. It's one of the mo...
This hike is well worth the extra effort of shuttling cars and timing the tides. It's one of the most unique trails I've done. The variety on this trail is amazing. Sandy beach, rocky beach, thick forest, thin forest, rope ladders, ropes, etc.

I hiked south from Third Beach to Toleak on Saturday, Toleak to Mosquito Creek on Sunday, and Mosquito Creek to Oil City on Monday. The trail was passable and without any blowdowns. It seemed a little wild for a maintained trail. I'd read other reports of ladders missing steps. It looks like they've replaced those. The trail south of Mosquito Creek was quite brushy and muddy.

On the first day, I was concerned about making it around a rock with a 4 foot tide requirement. I got there as the tide was going out, planning on waiting until it was passable. The map didn't show an overland route, but it turns out that there was one.

On the second day, I was concerned about fording a couple of creeks. Luckily, it hadn't rained in a few days and the creeks were low. Goodman was mid-calf. The guidebook suggested fording Mosquito creek at low tide, but on my trip that wasn't really necessary.

I got to Mosquito early, and debated whether to complete the 3.5 mile overland section that day or the next day. I decided to complete it the next day and explore the beach south of Mosquito instead. Good choice - it didn't look like there were many, if any, campsites on the beach just south of that overland section. There were a few sites in the woods, toward the southern end of the overland.

On day 3, I did the 3.5 mile overland, a short hike on a beach, and then crossed a big pile of rocks which required a 2 foot tide. Footing on the rocks is tricky, and there are a lot of them, so leave yourself some time to cross them. 1 hour should be more than enough, but I don't recall how long it actually took.
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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

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

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