Hiking to Shi Shi Beach - Point of the Arches

Shi Shi Beach Parking, Neah Bay, Washington, United States

  • Activities:

    Photography, Backpacking, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    8 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    200 Feet

Beach
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Scenic
Wildlife

Shi Shi has fewer crowds than other beaches on the Olympic Coast and gives you the opportunity to explore the tide pools at Point of the Arches. 

Shi Shi offers an incredible reward for those who feel like venturing out a bit further and reaching a less accessible beach on the Olympic Coast, just be sure to time your hike with the low tide! The trail starts off near the fish hatchery on the Makah Indian Reservation.

To get there from Port Angeles, drive 5 miles west on US-101. Take SR-112 west for 64 miles until you reach Neah Bay. Continue for one mile on Bayview Ave and make a left on Fort St; right on Third Street; and left on Cape Flattery Road. Drive 2.5 miles until Hobuck Road where you'll make a left. Drive the final 4.3 miles, following signs for the fish hatchery, to trailhead and day use parking. If you plan on overnighting here, park at a home about a half mile back. It is well signed and parking is $10 per day.

The first mile of the trail is well-maintained and wanders through some incredible temperate rainforest. Come the second mile, however, the trail becomes much messier and is almost always very muddy. If the mud is too much to handle, there's a small bypass trail on the right through the trees. After two miles, you'll start to see views of the beach down below and encounter the trail sign marking your exit from the Makah Reservation and your entrance into Olympic National Park. Here the trail offers several steep switchbacks down the bluff to the beach - there are ropes here to assist if you need them. Once you come to the bottom of the bluff your trail is the beach itself. Take a left, heading south, towards Point of the Arches in the distance. You'll likely be greeted by a number of bald eagles as you make your way down the beach.

A little over a mile down the beach, you'll hit Petroleum Creek. This crossing can be somewhat deep in places and it's advised to take off your shoes and socks if you want them to stay dry. Campsites are available here if you're looking to stay overnight (just be sure to get the right permits from the Makah Reservation and Olympic National Park ahead of time). One mile further and you'll reach your destination at Point of the Arches. Explore the tide pools here or find a spot to cozy up and enjoy the awesome scenery, just be sure to start your way back before the tide comes in too far!

If you're in need of a warm and cozy meal after the hike, head to the Warmhouse Restaurant in Neah Bay on the return drive!

If you want to make this an overnighter, check out this adventure: https://www.theoutbound.com/wa...

Pack List

  • Tide chart
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Camera
  • Rain gear
  • Waterproof boots
Overnight camping:
  • All of the above
  • Camping gear
  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Food
  • Permits
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

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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Reviews

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This is a great hike (a little miserable in the rain) but totally worth it once you arrive at the campsite and beach. We spent several hours photographing and exploring the beach. Next time we go we will camp for sure. Also on a side note GoPro's commercial for the hero 5 shows someone walking on a slack line at Shi Shi beach, for those that have been here

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

This is a great summer hike that we enjoyed at a very slow pace, stopping frequently to wade through tidepools, take snack breaks on the sand, and photograph the arches. **Make sure before getting to the trailhead you purchase a usage permit from the Makah Indian Reservation (available at most gas stations in town). We didn't realize this until we were at the trailhead and had to backtrack into town.

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

My favorite spot on the Washington coast!

about 2 years ago
about 2 years ago

HIGHLY recommend the trek to Shi Shi Beach. One of the highlights of time spent in Washington.

almost 3 years ago
almost 3 years ago

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

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