Rialto Beach, Olympic National Park - A Great Beach Location with Many Camping Restrictions

Rialto Beach is one of the most popular beaches along the Olympic Peninsula and boasts some of the most awesome views of the Pacific Coast. Due to its location and easy accessibility its draw has increased. Just a few miles away from the small town of La Push, Rialto Beach is an easy hike. One of its more popular destinations is known as Hole-in-the-Wall. Traveling from Port Angeles can be done with ease. From Port Angeles drive 56 miles west on Highway 101 to La Push Road (Highway 110). Turn right (west) and drive 7.6 miles to Mora Road. Turn right and continue to the Rialto Beach Parking Area, 4.8 miles. Overall travel time from Port Angeles is just an hour and a half or 68 miles total.

Rialto Beach starts at the mouth of the Quillayute River and extends approximately four miles past numerous sea stacks and tide pools. Winter months bring about heavy storms which can be enjoyable for onlookers to watch. Be sure to explore the beach right after a winter storm and watch for Japanese blown glass balls, used as fishing buoys. As the beach turns northward, Cake Rock is the massive sea stack that rises far up out of the churning sea. Dahdayla Island is also a sight to see but is much closer to Rialto Beach.

Rialto Beach is a fine place to visit on a warm summer day, but also holds much beauty the rest of the year. While visiting and if time allows, travel over to La Push and visit First, Second, or Third Beach. All of these beaches are sandier than Rialto, but you will need to hike to Second and Third Beaches.

Pets are not allowed at the beach, even on leashes. There are bathroom facilities available to visitors and handicap accessibility is available as well. Water sources are also available. Most of the coastal water source facilities have a dark stained appearance from the tannin leached from leaves. Visitors are encouraged to boil, filter, and treat all water sources as girardia is known to exist in most of the coastal streams.

There are numerous campsites between Ellen Creek and Hole-in-the-Wall, however there are some restrictions. Groups are limited to no more than twelve people. Associated groups of more than twelve must camp at least one mile apart and may not combine at any time in a group of more than twelve. Also of special concern are that campers not leave any trace of their stay upon leaving the area. There is camping in preexisting campsites only as to prevent damage to vegetation. In order to protect the area from coastal fires, campfires can only be built on the beach with driftwood. Due to raccoon problems, all food garbage and scented items must be secured in hard-sided containers such as Bear canisters. Wilderness camping permits are required for overnight hikes and can be obtained at the Wilderness Information Center (WIC) in the city of Port Angeles.

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