Backpacking Building Blocks Student-Only Backpack

Field trip: Backpacking Building Blocks (B3) Course

Backpacking Building Blocks Student-Only Backpack - Olympic Coast South: The Wildcatter Coast

This field trip will give B3 students the opportunity to try out gear and new skills on a two-night backpack with experienced mentors. This is a beautiful 18-mile trip through upland rainforest and along rocky coastline during a negative tide. Priority signup March 31 - April 21 for B3 students in Renee and Melinda's mentor group. Open to any B3 student starting April 7 after requesting permission to sign-up. Contact Renee at

  • Moderate
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 17.5 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,900 ft
  • Pace: 1mph headlands, 2mph beach

Meet at the Oil City trailhead by 7 am on Saturday June 22. We have a time-critical departure of 7:15 am to ensure safe passage around Diamond Rock during low tide. Cars left at the trailhead need an America the Beautiful pass or an Olympic National Park vehicle entrance  pass.

Because we have an early departure Saturday morning, it’s a good idea to stay nearby on the peninsula the night before, especially if you are relying on the ferry. There are a few campgrounds and hotels nearby, but they can fill up quickly.

Oil City TH:,-124.4085/@47.7493,-124.4085,12z?hl=en&entry=ttu

We’ll hike north from the Hoh River north to Third Beach. Along the route there are ladder and rope-assisted climbs up and down from the headlands. Garden or leather gloves recommended. We’ll carefully plan our daily departure times to allow safe passage around points and slippery boulders during low tides. Because we are traveling during a full moon and negative tides, we’ll hopefully have a chance to observe some amazing marine life.

Day 1: On Friday morning we'll meet at the Oil City trailhead and hike north ~6 mi to our camp at Mosquito Creek. After we set up camp we’ll discuss how to plan coastal trips, review how to read tide tables and marine forecasts.

Day 2: We'll hike ~6 mi to Toleak Point and meet another B3 group on the trail to exchange car keys. On this day we’ll be fording Mosquito, Goodman and Falls Creek, so water shoes are required and poles are recommended.

Day 3: Hike out via La Push, Third Beach trailhead and meetup with B3 group to exchange cars.

Caltopo GPS route:

Weather forecast:

Bear cans required in this part of the ONP. Leader will buy the Olympic Park camping permit for the group, so a $17 reimbursement is appreciated.

Expect a Hello Hiker email about a week before the trip with detailed information.


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, garden or leather gloves for headland and boulder crossings, bear can for food storage, poles, parking pass, plus overnight gear as specified by the trip leader

Trip Reports