Olympic Coast

Sea kayak the Pacific Ocean along the beautiful, remote, and rugged coastline between the the Olympic Penninsula's Hobuck and Ruby Beaches.

Launch Points

northern end


  • La Push is an access point three days from Hobuck and two days from Ruby Beach. The boat basin should provide reliable protected landing site.

southern end

  • Ruby Beach is a steep gravel landing zone that can be difficult to negotiate if the surf is big. There is a rock garden near the north end of the beach that offers some protection and, with good observation and planning, a take-out here doesn’t usually present any problems. There is a fresh water pond for a rinse. The trail from the beach to the parking lot is a bit of a haul. Wheels may help. Allow 2+ hours from landing to driving.
  • Another option is to land in the Hoh River. Cars can be left at the Oil City Trailhead or the Hoh Reservation. Both are a shorter carry than Ruby Beach, and the surf at the Hoh River is about the same as Ruby Beach.


A very long car shuttle is requited. It adds an extra day. One option is to coordinate this trip to occur after an event where friends will be out at Hobuck and enlist one of them to help shuttle you. Another option is to take public transit that runs between Ruby Beach, La Push, and Neah Bay.

on the water

This is a unique, interesting, and challenging kayak route. The many islands make for a spectacular and intricate coastline and kayaks are the only way to access many of these features.

Most of the trip is in a marine wildlife sanctuary. Remember that you are the visitor in their home. Please make an effort to not disturb resting seals or birds. And avoid close approach to the islands with large bird colonies, commonly the outer islands.

This coast line is open ocean with no easy exits.  Most landings are continuously exposed to surf, often with reefs and rocks on the approaches. Off-shore, there are many islands and rocks that become hazardous in an ocean swell.  Some beaches may be protected by being north facing. Others may be protected by off-shore rocks. However, it is likely not possible to complete the route with out landing at a beach that is fully exposed to sea conditions.


  • This trip requires significant skill and experience paddling in the open ocean. Experience and confidence in surf launches and landings are a must.
  • Weather and swell forecast is generally reliable through the five days it takes to complete this route. Maximum conditions for your groups abilities can be established for a reliable go/no-go decision based on the forecast.
  • The coastal trail is heavily used.  In-season, you'll see hikers most places you land and share campsites with them.
  • Food must be stored in bear canisters.

information for leaders

TRIP Planning

  • See our Hobuck Beach route/place  to see if there are any other groups planning an activity for Hobuck Beach and coordinate with them to reduce our impact.
  • See our Olympic Coast South: The Wildcatter Coast to see if there are any other groups planning an activity for Hobuck Beach and coordinate with them to reduce our impact.


  • Permits are required for all overnight stays in the Olympic National Park backcountry. Some camps like those at Cape Alava are popular, in quota areas, and are a required part of the trip itinerary. Reservations must be made many months in advance and picked up at the Wilderness Information Center. When you pick up your permits you can provide the park with description of your boats and your cars and where they are parked.
  • Suitable Activities: Sea Kayaking
  • Seasons: June, July, August, September
  • Weather: View weather forecast
  • Difficulty: Sea Kayak V
  • Length: 60.0 nm
  • Land Manager: Olympic National Park
  • Parking Permit Required: National Park Entrance Fee
  • Recommended Party Size: 6
  • Maximum Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Route/Place Capacity: 12
  • NOAA Approaches to Strait of Juan de Fuca Destruction lsland to Amphitrite Point No. 18480
  • NOAA Columbia River to Destruction Island No. 18500
  • Sea Trails Roadless Coast, Neah Bay to Ruby Beach WA302
  • Green Trails Olympic Coast Beaches No. 99S
  • Custom Correct North Olympic Coast
  • Custom Correct South Olympic Coast
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