Camp at Second Beach in Olympic NP

Second Beach, Forks, Washington, United States

  • Activities:

    Chillin, Camping, Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    1.4 Miles

Beach
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Romantic
Scenic

Second Beach is an easy 0.7-mile forested hike to the coastal camp. The beautiful coastline is accented with several large Seastacks. Campfires on the beach…that should be enough to make you want to go.

Second Beach is recognized as one of Olympic National Park’s crown jewels, and its views and surroundings don’t disappoint. It's a great place to spend a night but it can also be done as just a day trip if you wish.

To access the beach, you’ll need to make an easy 0.7-mile with minimal elevation change (~100 feet). Once there, scout out a good spot along the beach to set up camp, and enjoy some of Washington’s most scenic coastline. Just make sure your spot is above where the high tide will rise to. At lower tides, explore the numerous tide pools and the Natural Arch at the northern end of the beach.

Depending on the time of year, the beach can get very crowded, but the beach is quite long, so you should be able to find a spot among the driftwood to pitch a tent even if it's busy. You do need a wilderness camping permit to camp on the beach. This can be picked up at the Olympic National Park Visitors Center in Port Angeles. You can also pick up required bear cans there. Also keep in mind that there is no access to potable water.

Second beach features some of my favorite seastacks on the Washington coast. You can climb to the top of the one to your left when you first arrive at the beach. At low tide you can walk behind the largest seastack where there is another seastack behind it. My advice with this beach is to get up at sunrise. The beach will probably be empty as everyone is still asleep. There also might be some morning fog making for some interesting photos of the seastacks.

In the evenings, this is an amazing spot to enjoy a stunning sunset. If you’re just making this a quick trip, be sure to pack a flashlight or headlamp to help you get back to your car.

Pack List

  • Camping permit (This can be picked up at the Olympic National Park Visitors Center in Port Angeles)
  • Backcountry camping gear (go warmer on the sleeping bag than you might think, the breeze off the ocean can get chilly)
  • Fire building Supplies (fires are allowed on the beach)
  • Bear can, can be picked up at the Olympic National Park Visitors Center where you get permits
  • Water purification system
  • Headlamp
  • Camera
  • Tripod
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This beautiful beach is just amazing. I had the experience of a lifetime at this spot and strongly encourage everyone to give this spot a try in their lifetime! The sunset is the real beautiful part of this journey and if you camp or just walk the beach for the hour then it is super worth it! Strongly encourage camping and bringing a group of people since the hike is so short there. Pro Tips: Explore during the low tides since you can get to the sea stacks and move around them (really cool tidal pools). If you go camping the better spots are farther down where you tend to get less bugged by the day travelers looking to surf or go for a short walk.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Crested Butte is a beautiful spot to ride, I highly recommend the lupine trail

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

Camping on Second Beach is something I will never forget! Beautiful, amazing experience

over 3 years ago
over 3 years ago

Michael Matti Explorer

Seattle based photographer and hiker. www.michaelmatti.com

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