Point of the Arches and Shi Shi Beach

Area

Nearest City: Neah Bay
Best Season: Year round
How Far: 8 Miles
Elevation Gain: 200ft

Towering sea stacks, miles of tide pools and a horizon full of breaking waves and the swells of the Pacific Ocean expand before you, creating the perfect atmosphere for your Olympic coastal experience.  Ridiculously remote, this section of coast rests along the northwestern most point in the contiguous United States. Full of life, beauty and jaw dropping beach experiences, Shi Shi Beach seems like a coastal dreamland. What makes Shi Shi Beach so incredible is that, while it has some of the best tide pools in Olympic National Park, more people are looking at the horizon that at their feet. Shi Shi the location of nearly every iconic beach picture of Olympic National Park, and one of the most remote sections of coast in America. The tide pools here are teeming with life of all sizes, shapes and colors. While the highlight of the region is Point of the Arches, any section along the 8 mile round trip hike is incredible.

 

The route to Shi Shi takes you through a consistently muddy and frustrating two miles of trail. The trail first starts along a nice path through a forest before becoming muddy and slow going. While you may feel discouraged, do not give up! Once you make it past these two miles of hiking, you reach a bluff which marks your arrival to the best wild beach in America. After climbing down a somewhat steep bluff, you arrive at one of the most beautiful stretches of beach on the planet. Head south for two miles to reach Point of the Arches, a one mile stretch that is dotted with sea stacks of all shapes and sizes. With mil- lions of tide pools on low tide, as well as a chance to see whales, seals, otters and any number of ma- rine wildlife, this beach is hands down the best beach to day hike to in Olympic National Park. Out of 74 miles of wilderness beaches in Olympic, this beach is constantly ranked as the very best mile.

Directions

From Port Angeles follow US 101 to SR 112, to Neah bay. Follow the brown signs for “Cape Flattery”. Turn left on Fort Street for one block, then right on 3rd Street (unmarked). In another block (0.1 mile), turn left on Cape Flattery Road. ( Follow this road 2.5 miles, then turn left over the bridge onto Hobuck Road. Staying on the main paved road, follow signs for the fish hatchery. Drive to the parking lot at the trailhead, located on your right.

Located near Neah Bay, the beaches out here offer hours of exploration in tide pools filled with numerous sea creatures, set below the most impressive sea stacks on the Pacific Coast. Shi Shi Beach and Point of the Arches will stun you with their beauty, and leave you in awe if you are lucky enough to camp out, watching the sun plunge into the Pacific before stunning stars expand in the sky.

 

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By Doug and Mathias on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington State

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