Olympic Coast South: The Wildcatter Coast


Backpack - Olympic Coast South: The Wildcatter Coast

This two night backpacking trip along part of Olympic National Park's Pacific Ocean beach gives B3 students the opportunity to try out gear and new skills with experienced mentors. This 18 mile trip along the coast is beautiful but challenging due to tides and terrain; see Leader's Notes below. Registration for Royce and Cristina's mentor group opens by contacting Royce for sign-up until June 1. Registration for other qualified individuals opens June 1, with leader's permission.

  • Moderate
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 17.5 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,900 ft

Car Shuttle TBD 

We'll depart from the Third Beach trailhead west of Forks at 6:00am Friday, July 19.  So, arrive earlier, as 6:00 is our departure time due to incoming tides blocking our route later in the day.  Cars left at the trailhead need an America the Beautiful pass or an Olympic National Park vehicle entrance pass printed at home.

Consider staying overnight Thursday before the trip due to our early departure Friday morning.  There are hotels in Forks and camping in the area; reserve early.  An America the Beautiful or Olympic National Park vehicle entrance pass are required for parking at the trailhead.  Consider carpooling and sharing expenses for the entrance pass, gas, and lodging.

Priority given to Royce and Cristina's group participants.  Contact Royce before June 1 for priority participation. 

The mileage on this trip is moderate but the headland crossings, creek fording, and tidal challenges make it more difficult.  Headland crossings involve steep slopes, ropes and ladders, and muddy conditions.  Some parts of the beach trail have wet, slippery boulders.  Creek fords require water crossing footgear.  These features can be difficult while carrying your three-day backpack. Our hiking times will be based on the tides, as high tides prevent passage at some points along the trip.  But the coast has spectacular scenery, it's a full moon Sunday night, we'll learn about the tides, and work together to meet the challenges.

Due to pesky racoons on the coast, bear cans are required in this part of the Park (no Ursacks).  The leader will buy the two required Olympic Park camping permits for the group, so a $TBD/person reimbursement is appreciated.

Leather Glove are recommended for working the ropes. 


Olympic Coast South: The Wildcatter Coast

  • Green Trails La Push No. 163S

    Custom Correct South Olympic Coast

    Trails Illustrated Olympic National Park

    Green Trails Olympic Coast Beaches No. 99S
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

  • Tent with footprint/ground tarp
  • Stove and fuel
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water filter
  • Bear canister or extra stuff sack and cord designated for hanging food
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
Trip Reports