The Washington Coast provides miles and miles of rugged beauty with hundreds of trails for exploration. Hop onto US Route 101 and get ready to explore all along this wild and sometimes remote coastline. Check out these destinations that offer a glimpse of all the Evergreen State’s coastline has to offer.
Located at the northern mouth of the Columbia River is Cape Disappointment. This amazing state park offers zero disappointment along with eight miles of hiking trails and a campground with yurts, RB and tent sites. A picturesque lighthouse sits above this chaotically, beautiful place. Cape Disappointment is said to be the foggiest place in the United States and is wonderful to visit even in the winter months.
Long Beach is the longest beach in the United States, stretching out for a continuous 28 miles. It is also the second longest drivable beach in the world for those who love driving on sand. The sand dunes, driftwood, kite flying, museums and whale skeletons make this a family-friendly destination. Makes sure to stop by Marsh’s Free Museum to see Jake the Alligator Man, check out the Sasquatch wooden statue and explore their vast seashell collection.
This small town on the southern side of Grays Harbor offers some of the best surfing along the Washington Coast. The Pacific Ocean is protected by a man-made jetty which helps hem in the sometimes rough waters. Westport offers incredible fishing opportunities and offers a glimpse into the history of life along the coast. The boardwalk is lined with small shops and delicious restaurants. Take time to walk along the dunes and head out on a whale watching trip in the spring.
Kalaloch Tree Root Cave
This destination is worth a stop just for the Instagram worthy photos. Kalaloch is where the rainforest meets the ocean. Just a hundred feet below the campground parking lot is the Kalaloch Tree Root Cave which hangs onto the eroding ground by its roots, defying all odds. Combined with scenic views from the Kalaloch Lodge, this is a destination to check out.
Head just a few miles north Kalaloch Lodge along Highway 101 for Ruby Beach. This is one of the most spectacular beaches along the entire west coast. There is a short ½ mile walk down a well-maintained trail to access the beach. The sea stacks, driftwood and incredible views make this a noteworthy destination.
Second Beach is just west of Forks and is a classic coastal hike within the Olympic National Park. The short 4 mile round trip hike provides views of sea stacks, tide pools and wildlife sightings. Low tide allows visitors to walk for nearly a mile out into the surf.
No trip along the Washington Coast is complete without a visit to Cape Flattery which is the northwestern-most point in the contiguous United States. Located on the Makah Reservation, the views are utterly breathtaking. Head down the 1.5 mile trail to explore coastal forests and glimpses of the ocean. Whales are frequently spotted swimming near the entrance of the Strait of Juan de Fuca along with seals and sea lions.
By Rebecca Mongrain