Beach + Island

Totally Active Beaches

by Sarah Tuff


The Sport: Hiking

The Arena: Washington State

Your Adventure: A stroll on the beach may be enough for most folks, but you aim higher. Hiking the coastal strip of the Olympic National Park is a Jack-be-nimble trick, with scrambles over slippery rocks, leaps across tidal pools, and traipses through coastal rain forest. (There are also sandy strips for the occasional sunbathing break—just to keep everybody happy.) The driest months are August and September, and you'll encounter the fewest fellow hikers along the South Coast. Or you might go for the 17-mile North Coast Beach Travelway: It's mostly flat, but you'll need to ford rivers, climb rope ladders, and hoof a few steep pitches, which can be tough to do when you're gaping at the ocean and the bald eagles overhead. No need for a cheap paperback to put you to sleep at night, though: Since the park allows tents on the beach, let the sound of the waves do it.

Olympic National Park
Tel: 360 565 3130
Wilderness permits, $5, plus $2 per person per night

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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