Backpack - Olympic Coast South: The Wildcatter Coast


Backpack - Olympic Coast South: The Wildcatter Coast

One way, two night, beach hike from Hoh River to 3rd Beach, including secluded coves and sprawling tide pools among many other wonderful perks!

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
  • Fri, Apr 24, 2015 — Sun, Apr 26, 2015
  • Foothills Backpacking Committee
  • Backpacking
  • Singles, 20-30 Somethings, Retired Rovers, Adults
  • Moderate
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 17.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,900 ft

**UPDATE READ ALL LEADER'S NOTES** we will meet to shuttle at the 3rd Beach end of the trail at 8 am on 4/24 in order to meet the low tide at a crucial point on the trail.

** UPDATE READ ALL LEADER'S NOTES **  All participants will need to arrange for their own bear canister. We will not be stopping to rent them as we have to be at the Hoh River end trail head by 9:30 am (see group meeting time above).

This is only set up as leader permission required so I can make sure everyone is aware of the trip plan.  The shuttle will cost $35-$45 per person, but if the shuttle falls through, I must make sure we have at least 4 drivers willing to drive.

I will send out detailed trip information later on. If the shuttle plan falls through, we will end up doing an out-and-back and will most likely conduct the backpack as an overnight.

The pace will be moderate (1.5-2 mph average)

Bear canisters and wilderness permits will be required.  More info to follow about parking permit requirements, if any.  Everyone must arrange for/rent/borrow/buy their bear canisters before the trip on their own, and we will not be stopping on the way to get them.

It's going to rain.

We're going to have to pay special attention to the tide charts as some areas won't be accessible during high tide.  There will also be some steep hill/cliff climbing (depending on the tide) with the aid of ropes/ladders:

During winter, the coast south of Third Beach is only recommended for experienced backpackers due to difficult bluff climbs, deep mud and high streamflow levels; stream crossings may be difficult even during low tides.

A significant slide of mud, trees and other debris has covered ~ 75 yards of beach between creek at Third Beach and headland trail over Taylor Point. A 5' or less tide is advised for travel past slide. Crossing over debris is difficult.

Taylor Point trail is very muddy. The Taylor Point bridge is broken and most of the ladders have broken rungs making the ladders difficult to utilize in wet conditions.

The north access to Scotts Bluff is very muddy; utilize rope assist, no ladder. Two difficult down tree crossings over the bluff.

Path to the toilet at Scott Creek is ~ 30' south of the first campsite you pass after descending from Scotts Bluff.

North toilet at Toleak Point is located ~ midway behind the string of wooded campsites; south toilet is located up the access trail behind the logs on the north side of Jackson Creek, just below and to the left of the deteriorating A-frame shelter.

Northside Goodman/Falls Creek headland rope ladder has been replaced/bypassed with a trail.

Use caution during/after heavy rains when fording Goodman Creek. Mosquito Creek should be forded at or near low tide. Always use the overland trail between Mosquito Creek and Jefferson Cove; the beach access trail just north of Hoh Head no longer exists. Trail can be very strenuous for some hikers. Trail currently has a washed out section ~ 1.5 mi. south of Mosquito Creek that requires a steep climb down into the streambed with rope assist. Exercise caution!

There are presently little campable terrain at Jefferson Cove; room for only 2-3 tents. (There are plenty of other camping locations along the trail)

The headland between Jefferson Cove and the mouth of the Hoh River requires a very low tide to pass. Always carry a tide table and topographic map!

Use caution when ascending and descending all headland trails and rope ladders. They are very steep and slippery when wet.

Beach access to/from the Oil City trailhead from the Hoh River mouth can be cut off at high tide and/or when the river is in flood stage. Always carry a tide chart and check the weather forecast!


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 pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
Trip Reports