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Silver Lake Sand Dunes Panorama

Tag: Rialto Beach

Wordless Wednesday: Starfish

Starfish at Hole in the Wall

Wordless Wednesday: Driftwood

Log Across Ellen Creek

Hiking Olympic National Park: Rialto Beach

Rialto Beach at Low Tide

After leaving the Lake Crescent Area, we headed to the coast, specifically Rialto Beach. There are many beaches in Olympic National Park so it was hard to choose one to visit. Ruby Beach, one of the most popular beaches on the Olympic Peninsula was closed when we visited due to road construction, so we chose to visit Rialto Beach and do the Hole-in-the-Wall Hike.

When deciding what days to do what in Olympic National Park, we looked at the tide chart. The hike to Hole-in-the-Wall can only be accessed during low tide so we had to plan our visit accordingly. There is a forest service trail that would allow you to see the Hole-in-the-Wall formation during high tide, but you wouldn’t be able to get as close or see the life in the tide pools.

When we got to the beach, it was drizzling a little and it was overcast with a little fog. There were strange rock formations jutting out from the water. It was unlike anything I had ever seen anywhere else. We drove through the town of Forks, Washington to get to the beach and I totally understood why Stephanie Meyer set the Twilight books in this area. It looks like a place where strange sparkly vampires would live!

Tides at Rialto Beach

The trail is a 3.3-mile long out-and-back trail and most of the hike is just an easy walk on the beach, but there are some tricky sections.  The scariest part for me (and most of the other women hikers we saw) was the part where you had to cross Ellen’s Creek small stream that dumps into the ocean. The only way to cross it was by walking over a log. One woman told me, I’m sure as an attempt to reassure me, “I’ve been standing here over an hour and I haven’t seen anyone fall in yet.” Luckily, I didn’t ruin her streak, but I did take the chicken’s way out on the way back and scoot across on my butt. Apparently, when the creek is less full, people wade through it instead of the scrambling we had to do.

Starfish at Hole in the WallFrom there it wasn’t much further to the rock and the feature known as Hole-in-the-Wall. It is known as Hole-in-the-Wall because over time, the tide eroded the center of the rock and created a hole big enough to walk through. The walk on the rocks was slippery and I was very worried I was going to fall, but seeing all the life in the tide pools was absolutely worth it! We had never explored tide pools before so it was really cool to see!  I had no idea starfish came in so many colors! It was crazy because you could be looking at a part of the rock for a while and just keep seeing more.

If you are looking for a beach to visit in Olympic National Park, I highly recommend Rialto Beach and the hike to Hole-in-the-Wall. If you are planning to do this hike, waterproof hiking boots with good traction are a must. Walking on the beach, our feet got a little wet, but scrambling over wet rocks would’ve been near impossible without our hiking boots.

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to check back next week when I share about our time exploring Hurricane Ridge! To read more about this trip check out my Planes, Buses, and Boats Trip Report. To read about some of our previous trips, visit my Trips Page. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page and follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my updated Gear Page.

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Rialto Beach Pinterest Graphic

Wordless Wednesday: Hole in the Wall

Rialto Beach

Olympic National Park Overview

Rialto Beach

Rialto Beach

Disembarkation from Serenade of the Seas was the complete opposite of embarkation. We were off the ship in ten minutes! To be on the safe side, we booked our Quick Shuttle for 10:00 which would have left us standing in the port for two hours. Luckily, they were able to squeeze us onto the 8:00 shuttle. Where our Greyhound experience was less than comfortable, Quick Shuttle was wonderful! The seats were more comfortable and there were fewer stops. If you ever need to get from Vancouver to Seattle (or Vice Versa) I highly recommend Quick Shuttle! They were more expensive than Greyhound, but it is absolutely worth it!

We had Quick Shuttle drop us off at the Bellingham Airport which made the fare cheaper and the ride faster than going all the way to Seattle. This may sound strange, but we discovered it was significantly cheaper for a one-way rental from Bellingham to Seattle than the round-trip from Seattle. It’s things like this that a lot of people wouldn’t think of that allow us to save money when we travel. The rental car was cheaper, our bus rate was less, and it was quicker to not have to stop at all the stops along the way.

Hoh Rainforest

Hoh Rainforest

For the Washington part of the trip, we stayed at an AirBNB in Port Angeles. Port Angeles is a good base camp for exploring Olympic National Park because the park is spread out throughout the Olympic Peninsula and Port Angeles is centrally located. There are not many places to choose from lodging-wise in Port Angeles, so we ended up this studio apartment in the middle of a ranch home. It was fine but was not ideal for my husband to be working on eastern time. There were some mornings he had his 5 am (8 am eastern) meetings in his car so as to not bother the neighbors.

Olympic National Park is divided into three diverse ecosystems: beach, mountains, and temperate rainforests. Since we had a short time to explore the park (only four afternoons/evenings) we got to explore Rialto Beach, Lake Crescent, Hurricane Ridge, and Hoh Rainforest. There is much more to see in the park, but I feel like we got to see the highlights.

One thing that we learned on this trip is that Washington weather is hard to predict and the weather can vary around the park. For example, it was sunny and warm at our AirBNB but when we got to Hurricane Ridge we hit a wall of fog. When we got home some friends who used to live in the Pacific Northwest told us that you have to go after the 4th of July if you want to actually get to see the area and not just fog. Like I say with most places we visit, I guess we will have to go back another time, later in the year!

Hurricane Ridge

Hurricane Ridge in the fog

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to check back next week as I share about our experience at Lake Crescent! To read more about this trip check out my Planes, Buses, and Boats Trip Report. To read about some of our previous trips, visit my Trips Page. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page and follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my updated Gear Page.

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