Shi Shi Beach, Olympic National Park - One of the Most Beautiful Seascapes and Beaches in the Nation, with Trails that Abound

Shi Shi Beach is truly one of the most scenic spots along the Washington coast and is known as one of the best beaches in the nation for numerous reasons. Shi Shi has approximately two miles of walking beach to explore and while doing so it is difficult to keep your eyes from wandering. Whether it is the seascape in front of your eyes or the sand and tide pools, Shi Shi is not a location visitors will want to explore lightly. The sea stacks and beach caves with jetting tide pools, both shallow and deep, allow for great times of exploration.

Taking in the sunset at the beach is amazing, but at Shi Shi the memory will be embedded for years to come. Here the sky lights up and reflects off the Pacific Ocean and glistening sand. Capturing the sunset on film is necessary in keeping the landscape alive even after you leave this amazing beach.

The Northern entrance to Shi Shi is located on the Makah Reservation. From Port Angeles, travelers can drive west on U.S. 101 to Highway 112. Turn right onto Highway 112 and drive north to Neah Bay. At the west end of town, turn left onto Cape Flattery Road and drive 3 miles to Hobuck Beach Road. Turn left, cross the Watch River, and drive to Sooes River. Hobuck Beach Road eventually turns into Sooes Beach Road. Cross the Sooes River and drive to the trailhead on the right. This is the easiest route to get to the beach.

Landowners near the trailhead allow visitors to park on their property for a small fee. This is advisable as parking at the trailhead is for day use only. Vandalism is a known problem in the area, so it is recommended that you park your vehicle at these locations. It is also advised that you drop your packs at the trailhead and have at least one person guard your gear, while another team member drives back to the last house to park and pay. From the trailhead, it is an easy two mile hike to the beach. The trail is fairly flat, except for the last bit down to the beach. The trail can be extremely muddy at times so proper attire is recommended.

Pets are prohibited on the beach, even on leashes. Three pit toilets are available to visitors, one at the north end, near Bear Petroleum Creek, and one near Willoughby Creek. Water sources are also available at Petroleum Creek and Willoughby Creek. 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.

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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