Olympic Coast South: The Wildcatter Coast


Backpack - Toleak Point

We will hike a section of the trip listed by former Backpacking Magazine Northwest Editor Michael Lanza as one of the 10 best backpacking trips in the United States, with fantastic ocean scenery. Our day will be governed by the tides - some parts of the route cannot be traveled except at low tides.

  • Moderate/Strenuous
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 23.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 3,200 ft
  • Pace: 2 mph

Thursday, June 8, 2023 at 9:30 AM at Third Beach Trailhead, La Push Road, La Push, WA.  Depending on traffic, this is about a 4 hour drive from Seattle. 

Tentative trip plan: On day 1, we will hike about 6.5 miles, to spectacular Toleak Point and camp.  En route, at about 4 miles from the trailhead, we must round a headland at a tide of 4 feet or less, which is about 2:00 PM, so we will plan to leave our trailhead by 10:00 AM.  

On day 2, we will leave our overnight gear, and day hike about 10 miles round trip to Mosquito Creek (despite the name, it is not unusually buggy) before returning to our camp at Toleak Point. 

On day 3, we will pack up camp and hike 6.5 miles from Toleak Point to our cars before heading home. 

I expect low overnight temperatures will be in the 40s. You should check the current weather report shortly before departure: https://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lon=-124.45655822753908&lat=47.77256035513372

The trip is subject to change or cancellation if the predicted weather is unusually poor.

Full COVID-19 vaccination and booster are required.

Permit fees:  The Wilderness Camping Permit will cost $17 per person.  Once you register for the trip, you need to send this amount to the leader within 3 days to hold your place.  If you are on the waitlist, send this amount within 3 days only if this changes so you are no longer on the waitlist.  Paypal, Venmo, or Zelle are preferred.  If you have an Olympic National Park Annual Wilderness Pass, you need to only send $1 and your Pass number. 

Star viewing:  With clear skies, Toleak Point provides good star viewing.  Sunset on June 8 is 9:04 PM, and Moonrise is at 12:59 AM.

EV access:  Depending on the electric car, the trailhead will be accessible by an EV.  Forks, Washington, which is 27 roundtrip miles from the trailhead, has Tesla high-speed chargers.  Bogachiel State Park has six campsites with level 2 chargers, and is 37 round trip miles from the trailhead. 

Leader Permission:  Leader permission is required, which you can obtain by sending an email to the leader.  When you request leader permission, please accompany your request with the answers to the questions available at this link.  You can download these questions, type in your responses below each question, save and email to me;  or copy and paste into an email and put your responses there.

Gear notes:

1. Bear canisters are required, which you can rent from some REI stores, or the Ranger Station in Port Angeles. (The bear canisters are required because of raccoons; not bears.)  We will not be meeting at the Ranger Station, so you need to make your own arrangements to obtain a bear canister. 

2. You should bring some method of water purification.  Since some of the water is darkened by (harmless) tannin, UV treatments which require clear water (like Steripen) might not be effective.

3. Bugs are certainly possible; bring bug repellant.

4.  We will ford several streams, and some form of water shoes is required. 

5. Some of the headlands must be ascended and descended using rope ladders.  You should bring gloves for handling rough ropes.

6. Since this is a Washington coast trip, rain should be expected, and you should bring a raincoat, rain pants, and pack cover and clothes that will keep you warm when wet (no cotton!).

7. The campsite water source (Jackson Creek) is about 1 mile round trip from camp , so you should bring the capacity to carry 1 gallon of water.  


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
  • Other items listed in Trip Application
Trip Reports