Backpack Along Rialto Beach

Pacific NW Trail

Easy 1-mile walk along the beach. Fall asleep to the calming ocean. Massive rocks along the shoreline. Coastal forests. Campfires permitted (only driftwood).

Before you start this hike, you'll need to pick up a permit at the Wilderness Information Center in Port Angeles, WA - (360) 565-3100. The trail itself starts at Rialto Beach, which is at the end of Mora Road in La Push. There's a large parking lot for overnight campers so there shouldn't be any issues finding a spot.

Once you start heading north along the beach, there's no trail. The first noticeable landmark you'll come across is Ellen Creek (about .4 miles). Camping is officially permitted as soon as you cross the creek. For the next 0.6 miles, you'll notice a lot of established campgrounds towards the edge of the beach and forest. To reduce the impact of the area, I'd suggest picking one of these spots. Be aware, you'll need to properly store your food in a bear canister at night (mainly for raccoons, not bears).

If you set up camp before the big rock, make sure you take a stroll down to it for sunset. A massive ray of light shoots through the hole, creating a great beam of light. If the tide is low, try navigating around the outside to the beach on the other side. This was probably my favorite area since it was littered with driftwood and not too many people ventured over there.

Pack List

  • Small to medium pack
  • Tent with rainfly (lots of spray and mist from ocean waves)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Sandals / Camp shoes for walking along the rocks
  • Camera
  • Plenty of water / food
  • Bear Cansiter
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RT Distance 2 Miles
Elevation Gain 0 Feet
Activities Chillin, Camping, Photography, Swimming, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Beach
Easy Parking
Forest
Scenic

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Awesome for Night/Astro Photography

Rialto Beach is a gem. Strolling along the coast with the seastacks lining your walk is absolutely stunning. Camping overnight makes it even more stunning. Not only is there solitude once the droves of people are gone, but on a clear night the stars and milky way are brilliant. The seastacks make for perfect foreground when taking pictures. Be prepared for your tent to be pretty moist when you wake up from the night and ocean mist. Bring a towel or you'll be fighting the tough challenge of breaking down your wet tent over the sandy beach. Also, note that dogs can only go halfway down the beach and not into the camping area. A huge bummer if you want to bring your four-legged friend along.

One of my favorite camping spots!

I camped out here one night, about a mile from the parking lot. Its so peaceful and beautiful, and we went on a weekday and we were the only ones out there. I definitely recommend bringing a bear canister. We didn't have one on us but we buried our food (in a sealed bag) and put a log on top of it, and in the morning there were clear raccoon tracks all around it, even marks where they tried to dig it out! Also make sure you don't camp too close to the water, or else the rising tide will surprise you!


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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