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Beach Camping in Olympic National Park: Guide for Your Coastal Adventure

Beach Camping in Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park offers a beach camping experience like no other, merging the serenity of the Pacific shoreline with the raw beauty of the wilderness. Imagine setting up your tent on sandy beaches or in lush coastal forests with the soundtrack of the ocean to lull you to sleep. As you explore this Beach Camping in Olympic National Park rugged coastline, you’ll encounter a diverse tapestry of sea stacks, rich tide pools, and an array of wildlife that seamlessly blends with the enchanting rainforest backdrop.

Prepare for your adventure with these campground tips for an unforgettable coastal camping trip in Olympic National Park.

Beach Camping in Olympic National Park

1. Kalaloch Campground

Beach Camping in Olympic National Park

Nestled on the Olympic Peninsula, you’ll find Kalaloch Campground, a gem of Olympic National Park that promises stunning Pacific Ocean views and beach access. The campground sits perched on a high bluff, offering you an impressive vantage point for sunsets and storm watching. If you’re longing for the soothing sounds of ocean waves at night, this is the place for you.

Camping at Kalaloch

  • Reservations: Required, especially in summer when spots fill up fast.
  • Campsites: 170 in total, with 3 wheelchair accessible.
  • Season: Open year-round for your adventures.
  • Cost: Pricing varies, so check the latest on Recreation.gov.
  • RVs: Recommended size up 21 feet, a few 35 feet sites available.

With your camp set up, you’ve got plenty to explore. Kalaloch Beach is right there for your morning strolls, and the local tides are a spectacle unto themselves — always check the tide chart to time your beach adventures safely.

Driftwood is abundant here, and while it adds to the area’s wild beauty, it’s not for campfires. Firewood is available for purchase to keep those evening campfires glowing.

Nearby Adventure

You won’t want to miss Ruby Beach, just down Highway 101 — it’s an iconic spot known for its tidal pools and sea stacks. There are multiple shorter trails nearby leading to the beach including the amazing tidepools of Beach 4. The Hoh, Queets, and Quinault are all beautiful rainforests in Olympic National Park that are within a 40-mile drive of Kalaloch. 

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After a day of exploring tidepools at Kalaloch Beach or hiking the local trails, you can head over to Kalaloch Lodge for a meal. Whether you’re here to relax or explore, Kalaloch Campground is a perfect beach camping escape.

2. South Beach Campground

Beach Camping in Olympic National Park

Perched on a bluff, this campground just south of Kalaloch gives you breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. South Beach operates on a first-come, first-served basis. It’s a no-frills, back-to-basics spot with primitive campsites. From May through October, you can snatch one of the 55 sites available with most RV sites up to 21 feet. It does have flush toilets but no drinking water supply.

Since it’s next door to Kalaloch Campground, all the great adventures including hiking trails, rain forests, tidal pools, and beaches are nearby to explore.

3. Ozette Campground

Beach Camping in Olympic National Park

Snuggled next to the expansive Lake Ozette, this modest but gorgeous campground offers 15 sites, inviting you to set up camp with breathtaking views of the coastal lake. Lake Ozette area has a rich historic background from an ancient native american village to a homesteading community. Here’s an overview of the compact campground:

  • Season: Year-round
  • Campsites: 15
  • Reservations: First-come, first-served
  • Amenities: Vault toilets, potable water in summer
  • RVs: Recommended size up to 21 feet (no dump station)

As you set up your tent, you’ll be settling into a landscape rich in wildlife—keep your eyes peeled for otters frolicking by the water’s edge and listen for the calls of eagles overhead. Now, remember to secure your food; bear canisters are a must.

Nearby Adventure

From your campsite, you’re poised to explore the North Olympic coast. A walk along the boardwalk will lead you to the Ozette Loop Trail. Choose your adventure and bring your hiking essentials: explore Cape Alava to the west with glimpses of ancient petroglyphs or Sand Point to the southwest with stunning sunset views. You can also turn this into a 9.4-mile loop hike. These destinations are each about 3 miles from the campground, so they’re comfortably within reach.

For further day trips, Makah Cultural and Research Center in Neah Bay about an hour’s drive offers a cultural and historic adventure with over 50,000 artifacts from the Ozette archaeological site.

Essential of Coastal Backpacking

best Beach Camping

Exploring the rugged coastline of Olympic National Park is a quintessential experience for avid backpackers who want to sleep on the beach. With endless ocean vistas and diverse ecosystems, coastal backpacking here is a journey through the wild, unspoiled backcountry of the Pacific Northwest. Backpacking the pristine Pacific Northwest coast is a unique and magical experience. There are two main trails on the Olympic National Park coastline for backpacking separated by La Push and the Quillayute River.

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North Coast Route: Shi Shi Beach to Rialto Beach

  • Distance: 20 miles
  • Scenery: Dramatic sea stacks, tide pools, and wildlife.

Your trek along the North Coast will challenge you with tide-dependent routes and occasional rope ladders. As you navigate from Shi Shi Beach to Rialto Beach, prepare for the awe and effort alike. Remember to consult tide tables and always have your wilderness permit and bear canister—both required for overnight stays.

South Coast Route: Third Beach to Oil City

  • Distance: 17 miles
  • Scenery: Lush rainforest, pristine beaches, wildlife, and sea stacks.

The South Coast beckons with its mix of rainforest pathways, rope ladders, and oceanfront campsites. The trail includes long beach hiking combined with ancient coastal rainforest overland excursions.

For both coastal backpacking routes, secure your wilderness camping permit in advance and be prepared for the rigours of coastal backcountry camping including tide-dependent travel and river crossings. A bear canister is required and available for loan from a Wilderness Information Center. Campfires are allowed along most of the coast while backpacking.

Olympic National Park is a coastal paradise that invites you to experience the wonders of nature. Whether you choose to camp at one of the scenic campgrounds or backpack along the rugged wilderness coastline, you’ll be rewarded with an unforgettable adventure. Don’t miss this opportunity to explore one of the most diverse and spectacular national parks in the country.

Pack your tent, grab your hiking boots, and get ready for an epic beach camping adventure in Olympic National Park.

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