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Backpack to Shi Shi Beach and Point of the Arches

Neah Bay, Washington



8 miles

Elevation Gain

200 ft

Route Type



Added by Isaac Desautels

Tide Pools, Dramatic Sunsets, Sea stacks, and a crashing ocean make for one of the best places to backpack to. Check the tides and adventure further down the coast while spending the night under the expansive Pacific Northwest sky.

The trailhead is located south of Neah Bay. If you plan to backpack, and you should plan on backpacking because it is well worth it, there is overnight parking located about a half mile before the trailhead for $10 a day. Additionally you will need a Makah Recreation Pass and an Olympic National Park wilderness permit (available in Port Angeles or Forks). Make sure to check both tide charts and weather; the surf can get quite wild depending on the time of the year.

Start out from here hiking towards the trail head, which begins near the fish hatchery. The trails cuts through groves of Sitka spruce over bridges and boardwalks. Be careful in the winter, the boardwalks are tough to walk on when icy. The next mile is muddy. Plod through this portion of the trail and you will begin to see the ocean. When you arrive at the bluff overlooking Shi Shi beach, scramble down to the beginning of the beach. There are campsites here, but you want to keep heading out down the beach towards the Point of Arches and Petroleum Creek. At Petroleum Creek begins the littering of amazing secluded campsites just where the beach reaches the forest. Petroleum Creek is also the best source of fresh water on the beach, just make sure to have adequate water purifying devices.

Set up camp and head further south to the headland of the Point of Arches. At low tide, while the sun is setting, the sea stacks provide one of the most scenic sunsets in world. During the day enjoy your time checking out the tide pools, surfing (if you bring a board), adventuring around the headlands, or fishing.

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