Shi Shi Beach and Point of the Arches
Jun 25, 2011
- Type of Outing
- Multi-night backpack
- Read More in our Hiking Guide
- Hike: Shi Shi Beach and Point of the Arches
- Region: Olympics -- Coast
- Agency: Olympic National Park; Makah Nation
- Avg Rating: 4.32
- Be Aware Of
- Water on trail
Was there mud and water on the trail? Yes – the second half of the trail consisted of off and on mud and water and the first half was nicely paved, if you will, with wooden planks and bridges. The hike overall was fairly easy with parts of the trail partially overgrown with vegetation. With hiking boots, a backpack, and proper lights, depending on the time you decide to hike it, makes this an easy hike. Although not advised, the hike is doable in flip flops. Just before the end of the trail, you will come to a final bulletin board at the top of the final steep decent onto Shi-Shi Beach. This part can be a bit challenging depending on the time of day and the equipment you are hiking in. The decent is mainly tree roots with a spot of 3-man made steps. Remember – what you hike in, you also have to hike out
Our trip started in Kirkland, WA leaving about 7pm after a quick trip to REI. We decided to catch the ferry from Edmonds to Kingston and drove through Port Angeles to Neah Bay to a private paid parking lot 1 mile from the trail head. The drive time was about 5 hours, including the ferry wait time. We started our hike at 1am from the private parking lot with 1 guy in sandals, strategically placed bags strapped around his shoulders, and a dim head lamp with his girlfriend also carrying bags on 4 hours of sleep and no lights and me in front with a hiking backpack, hiking boots, LED lantern strapped to my backpack, and an LED flashlight from a gas station. It took us about 30 minutes to reach the trail head and embark on our final 1.7 miles to Shi-Shi beach. We were pleased to see that the trail had been paved with wooden planks and bridges, especially at 1:30am. Then there was mud and on came the short spurts of heavy rain, which was mistaken for the sounds of the nearby ocean. We finally reached the top of the final decent around 2:45am and were a bit shocked to see what we had to walk down to get to the beach – a very steep cliff side with roots to serve as natural steps to this amazing beach. After we stepped foot on the beach around 3:00am, our adventure was not over. We had to find our friends that had hiked in earlier who were a bit shocked and relieved that we had finally made it.
When we all woke up later that morning, we could not have asked for better weather! It was sunny all day with temperatures around 65 degrees with spectacular views! We hiked about 2 miles to the Point of the Arches and hung out there for a while before heading back to camp. There are several rock formations worth checking out and taking photos of – maybe a photographer’s paradise? Later that day, we were able to see the sunset, which looked like it had disappeared right into the ocean. We sat around a fire, told some stories, ate smoreos, played a few games, and fell asleep – only to wake to another beautiful day!