Pacific Beaches - Second Beach

The parking lot and trailhead for imaginatively named Second Beach are on Quillayute land, but the trail quickly enters the national forest. The 3/4 mile trail passes through pretty coastal forest with wild old trees before descending to the Pacific Ocean. You can see the ocean through the screen of the forest before emerging at the beach where you will find yourself barricaded from the sand by an array of driftwood. This pile comes and goes with the tides, so you will have to clamber before reaching the sands.

You can visit Second Beach at any tide, but there is a lot less beach and less to explore when the tides are higher. Ideally, you want to be there when the low tide is three feet or below. That means lots of sand and access to more tidepools. There is a cave at the south end of the beach ony reachable at low tide. The sea stacks are islands in miniature with their vegetation and improbable rock forms.

Head north to the hole in the wall carved by the sea from the headland, or, better yet, head south towards the sea cave and series of little beaches nestled at the base of the southern headland. There is a stream running from the forest into the sea. It is best forded where it meets the tides. Watch for starfish in the tidepools. They were wiped out by disease in 2014 but seem to be coming back. Scan the tree line inland and look for bald eagles who frequent the area.

The basic walk to the beach is short, but there is a lot to explore.

NOTES: This hike is best centered around a low low tide, one under three feet. 

Time: 1:00 or longer

Driving time from Port Angeles: 1:15

Admission: technically ONP admission required, but this trail starts outside the park

Facilities: None

Kaleberg Website - Second Beach

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