Trip Report    

Backpack - Toleak Point

Pivoting from the inland Olympics to the South Coast due to the heat wave, our small and very fun group had a great time exploring the tide pools and forests.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles

We followed a less used route to access Scott Creek area and its beach.  Given the dry spell, the mud that the coast is famous for was close to absent.  I of course found the one big boot sucking hole…. We made quick work to get down to the beach, and worked our way south around two small headlands just before the tide got too high for safe passage.  Two people did a knee deep ford and one did a small cliff scramble.  From there, the beach was an easy walk, past Strawberry Point to the Toleak Point area where we located our camp for the next two nights.  After setting up tents, we rounded the Point and came to Jackson Creek.  It took a bit of poking around to locate the best spot to locate fresh water for collecting.  Back at camp, one of our party was brave enough for an ocean swim while the rest of us sat on a drift log and enjoyed sun and cool ocean breezes.  It got cool after supper, largely due to the breeze and some onshore mist and fog, so it was rather early to bed.

We awoke on our lay day so that we could be out walking by the max low tide around 9:30 of a minus one foot.  There was lots to be seen, primarily anemones, mussels, sea stars, crabs, cormorants, eagles,  vultures, gulls…. Fun!  We also saw river otter, raccoon, deer and crab tracks, with one possible bob cat track inland.  As the tide came in, we continued south on the beach, and began to climb ropes on the headland trail around Goodman Creek.  The trees were lovely at this stretch.  We had a leisurely lunch on the creek bank and watched and critiqued numerous backpackers and their various strategies on how to ford the creek. But then we elected to not try it ourselves, and turn around and have a relaxing afternoon exploring on our way back to camp.  

That night was busy at Toleak as it was Friday, including a group of young teens going through a rite of passage complete with drumming and a supervised 24 hour fast.  We did not fast, and instead learned about something called ‘fog drip’, where it was raining under the forest canopy but not out on the beach.  When we packed up camp the next morning, our tents were rather wet, but sun was spilling over the ridge, and there was a second day of low tide beaches to explore.  As we were earlier in the tide cycle, it was nothing at all to round those two points on our return.  We then located the inland trail to begin our way back to the cars, and were there in relatively short order.  

On the drive back home, we encountered progressively higher temps the more inland we went.  We were collectively so very glad to have journeyed that distance to the Coast, and were able to continue to savor that sense of cool until the heat wave finally broke.  Overall, an amazing trip with a super congenial group to a magical locale!