Backpack - Shi Shi Beach


Backpack - Shi Shi Beach

Backpack on the North Coast Route (Lake Ozette-Shi Shi) with a key exchange

  • Moderate/Strenuous
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 16.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 2,000 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 350 ft
  • Pace: 1-2mph

We'll meet at 6am - Olympic National Park Ranger Station: 3002 Mt Angeles Rd, Port Angeles, WA 98362

Each car will need an America the Beautiful Pass or a receipt for the park entrance fee. The parking near the Shi Shi trailhead (private parking is required for overnight & will cost approx $10/night) will also require a Makah Recreation Permit $20

Janette lives in Sequim & Jacqui is planning to camp the night prior at Dungeness Recreation Area (first come, first served campsites - no reservations required).  You are welcome to camp also.  

Cars can be parked and left overnight at the ONP Ranger Station.

We will backpack through and alongside coastal forest, rocky cliffs and the wild Pacific coast on a relatively well-maintained route. The route is technically flat, but sometimes requires the use of ropes or makeshift ladders to climb up and over high rocky bluffs on the beach. Be prepared for scrambling over large boulders, sliding on kelp-laden rocks, and wading through tide pools. The views of the mighty Pacific, as well as the occasional bald eagle soaring between seastacks and arches make this scene considered by many to be the most beautiful coastal view in Washington. There is a water crossings on our route at the Ozette River and it will be forded at low tide. 

This trip is part of the Intermediate Backpacking Program. We will cover approx 16 miles with elevation changes of approximately 2000ft.The variable hiking surfaces of the beach, combined with headland trails, tides, and water fording usually challenges even strong backpackers so please don’t think these short distances each day mean this is a simple, easy or leisurely backpack. The general route can be viewed here.

Southbound Route (lead by Jacqui)  trip plan is:

Night 1 Camp at point of arches (willoughby creek for water, there is a toilet there & tidepooling & beach/sunset views are spectacular) - Shi Shi trailhead to campsite area is 4 miles (+ approx 0.5-1.0 miles pending on parking locale

Night 2 Camp at Seafield creek (water from the creek & a short rope climb to a bluff with campsite & meadows 3.9 miles to/from Shi Shi (but rather challenging terrain - beach rocks/boulders +/- rope climbs) 7.84 miles from Lake Ozette via Cape Alava.

Due to only 2 nights on this trail - we won't likely be sharing a campsite with the other direction travellers - but hopefully would get to exchange keys and share a lunch/snack break with their great company on our middle day.

ONP backcountry permits will cost $16 each ($8/night) + portion of the $6 permit fee per direction. We would expect prompt reimbursement for the permits.

Northbound Route (lead by Janette) trip plan is the reverse of the Southbound Route outlined above.

This is an Intermediate Backpack.  Preference will be given to participants in the Seattle Intermediate Backpacking Program.  Others may register after February 1st.

When requesting permission for this trip please outline recent backpacking trips especially multiple-night trips, winter conditioning activities and any coastal backpacking experience. Please let us know if you a route direction preference.

This trip is weather dependent, both for enjoyment's sake and to ensure a safe river crossing.  Participants may unfortunately loss their camping permit fees if the permits are fully issued and hence un-refundable and the trip is cancelled a few days ahead. 

* should we need to cancel this trip we are planning to reschedule this trip on May 11-13


Shi Shi Beach

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 as required by Olympic National Park
  • Two Trecking poles
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
Trip Reports