First Beach and James Island (12 miles from Forks) Abundant
driftwood from nearby forest guards the broad sandy beach
where visitors and local townspeople alike can enjoy the
ever changing moods of the wild Olympic coast.
During the spring and fall, whales can be viewed from the
beaches when they come close to shore during the annual
migrations. The beaches offer scenic views, driftwood, tide
pools and wildlife for those who enjoy good surf, bring a
wet suit, board or kayak.
SECOND BEACH is an exceptional stretch of wilderness
coastline on Olympic National Park. The broad sandy beach
and picturesque sea stacks, relics of ancient rocky
headlands, make it a perfect place to observe the grandeur
of the primal forces of nature.
Lapush Beaches 1st 2nd & 3rd Beaches
Second Beach which has sheltering cliffs. At low tide, shallow tide
pools brim with intertidal life. Impressive sea stacks-the
Quillayute Needles are close inshore.
A dramatic mile-wide sweep of sand, driftwood and sea stacks with
tide pools at the north end.There's a boiler in the swamp by the
one-and-a-half mile trail to the beach, from an, abortive oil
exploration in 1902. At Taylor Point, a waterfall pours into the sea
from cliffs at south end. Teahwhit Head blocks the way to Second
First, Second, and Third Beaches. Each one is sandy and broad and
hemmed in by dramatic bluffs and headlands. And while they're in
close proximity to each other, you can't hike from one to the next
because those headlands block the way. With roadside access, First
Beach is the easiest to get to and so can be crowded. Third Beach
requires a 1.2-mile slog down a forested trail. But Second Beach is
just right: a hike just long enough to discourage crowds, yet short
enough to encourage all who want to see this beautiful beach.
Well-constructed and well-maintained, the trail starts on the
Quileute Indian Reservation. Immediately cross a small creek lined
with imposing Sitka spruce before beginning a short climb. At the
height of the land enter Olympic National Park, and then begin a
short, steep descent to the beach, the distant surf growing louder
with each step you take. Soon, start catching glimpses of offshore
sea stacks through the surrounding towering spruce. Before you know
it, emerge on the log-lined shore. Take a deep breath. The beauty of
this place just may leave you short of breath.
You can hike a short distance along the beach northward. Do it, for
it'll lead you to a natural arch. But to really stretch your legs
and get the most out of Second Beach, head south. Over 1 mile of
sandy beach awaits your footprints.
Immediately offshore is a consortium of battered islets and sea
stacks known as the Quillayute Needles. Crying Lady Rock is the
largest of the batch. These forbidding landmarks are part of the
Quillayute Needles National Wildlife Refuge. Inhospitable to humans,
they're productive breeding grounds to thousands of seabirds,
oystercatchers, murres, gulls, petrels, cormorants, and auklets
Continue wandering. Taste the salty spray coming off the crashing
breakers. Eventually you'll come to an impasse, the headland named
Teahwhit Head. But before you turn around and retrace your steps,
scan the rugged bluff. Teahwhit Head is also graced with a natural
arch. In retrospect you may conclude that with two arches, an
awesome seascape, scores of pelagic birds, and an inviting sandy
shoreline, Second Beach is second to none.