Third Beach


Backpack - Third Beach

Relax and refresh for a full day and two nights at one of the most beautiful Olympic Coast beaches, with the opportunity to view marine life at two of the lowest tides of the year. The short hike in and out makes this an excellent trip for families with young children, as well as adults new to backpacking seeking to develop their camping skills. Meeting on a Friday should make trailhead parking more available.

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  • Easy
  • Easy
  • Mileage: 3.6 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 280 ft
  • Pace: 2.0 mph

Meet at 9 AM Friday on the front porch of the Olympic National Park Wilderness Information Center, 3002 Mt. Angeles Road, Port Angeles, WA  98362.  There we will register as a group, pay the required camp fees of $8 per person per night and pick up our permit and any needed bear canisters.

At the Wilderness Information Center (WIC), the leader will pay the camp fees for the entire group and pick up the permit and requested bear canisters and then collect the fees owed from each participant.  Olympic National Park requires that all food and other odor-emitting substances be secured overnight at Third Beach in approved bear canisters.  If you do not bring your own, you can borrow one at no cost from the Wilderness Information Center (WIC), and then must return it there at the end of our trip.  If you borrow a canister from the WIC, you will need to repack your gear after picking it up, because it must be placed inside your pack.  That could be done either at the WIC or the trailhead, depending on where there is more available time. 

After meeting at the WIC, there is the opportunity to consolidate cars at the Port Angeles City Hall parking lot, 321 E. Fifth St., Port Angeles, WA  98362, which is in the direction of our driving route to the trailhead.  The last two years, parking along the road by the trailhead has been prohibited, so it is extremely important for us to arrive at the trailhead in the fewest possible cars, to have the best chance of finding adequate parking in the small parking lot.  If the parking lot does not have adequate space for our cars, the cars not finding a parking place will need to drive another mile to the Second Beach trailhead parking lot and the drivers walk back from there to the Third Beach trailhead to join the rest of the group.  There is no parking pass required at the Port Angeles City Hall,  the Third Beach trailhead or the Second Beach trailhead.

The drive from Port Angeles to the trailhead takes about an hour and a half.  The 1.8 mile hike to the beach takes about 45 minutes.  So we should be able to have our lunch at the beach after setting up camp.

Four low tides will provide us opportunities to explore marine life while we are at the beach.  They are +1.10 at 8:08 PM on Friday, -2.09 ft. at 8:53 AM on Saturday, +1.53 ft. at 8:54 PM on Saturday and -1.77 ft. at 9:39 AM Sunday.

There are nice restrooms at the WIC and the Port Angeles City Hall.  There are outhouses at the trailhead and at Third Beach.  Beachcoming usually turns up a variety of interesting items.

We will hike out at an agreed to time after the low tide on Sunday and have the option for a lunch  stop at the Hungry Bear Cafe,  Milepost 205912, US 101, Beaver, WA 98305, which is on the driving route back to Port Angeles.  


Third 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 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