Olympic Coast South: The Wildcatter Coast


Backpack - Olympic Coast South: The Wildcatter Coast

This is a two night backpacking trip along part of Olympic National Park's Pacific Ocean beach from Oil City to Third Beach. Please plan to stay nearby on Thursday night as we will have a very early start on Friday morning to manage tides. The journey will be a beautiful 18-mile trip through upland rainforest and along rocky coastline. Initial priority for registration will be given to Kat and Caroline’s B3 mentor group by contacting Kat for sign-up until June 1. Registration for other qualified individuals opens June 1, with leader's permission. Do not request leader's permission prior to May 31st. Any requests received earlier will not be reviewed.

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

Car Shuttle TBD 

We'll depart from the Oil City trailhead at 6:00am Friday, June 21.  So, arrive earlier, as 6:00 is our departure time due to incoming tides blocking our route later in the day, specifically this time-critical departure is to ensure safe passage around Diamond Rock during low tide. Cars left at the trailhead need an America the Beautiful pass or an Olympic National Park vehicle entrance pass printed at home.

Strongly 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 Kat and Caroline’s group participants until June 1.  Registration will then open June 1 to other qualified participants by requesting leader permission. 

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 Friday  night, we'll learn about the tides, and work together to meet the challenges. An outline of our planned itinery is below, subject to change based on trail conditions. 

Day 1: On Friday morning we'll meet at the Oil City trailhead and hike north ~6 mi to our camp at Mosquito Creek

Day 2: We'll hike ~7 mi to Strawberry Point  On this day we’ll be fording Mosquito, Goodman and Falls Creek, so water shoes are required and poles are recommended.

Day 3: Hike out via La Push, Third Beach trailhead. 

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/Protective Gloves are required for working the ropes and rocks. 

Expect a Hello Hiker email about a week before the trip with detailed information.


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 
  • Cooking supplies & utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
Trip Reports