Wild and unspoiled, this rugged and remote stretch of coast is filled with unique geological formations and feels like the edge of the world.
Unwind and reconnect with nature at Rialto Beach on Washington's craggy coastline. This area of undisturbed coast is perfect for scenic walks, wildlife-watching and superior photo opportunities.
Leave your car at the Rialto Beach parking lot and hike along the pebbly coast. The 4-mile (6.4-kilometer) round trip is short but extremely rewarding, with striking vistas of the roaring surf and dramatic sea stacks.
From the parking lot, make your way down to the stony shore and head north. Inhale fresh sea air and enjoy views of the weather-beaten oceanfront. The pebble beach is strewn with battered and bleached driftwood and entire tree trunks worn smooth by the powerful surf.
Gaze out at the crashing waves and the striking sea stacks that jut out of the water. These vertical rock pillars are offshore remnants of eroded headlands and so they often have trees growing on their peaks.
Bird-watchers can capture photographs of many interesting specimens. Scan the algae-covered rocks for sea birds and look for brown pelicans and bald eagles flying overhead.
Farther north along the beach, you’ll meet a small stream called Ellen Creek. Wade through barefoot or use a log as a steppingstone to cross. From here, you'll soon encounter Rialto Beach’s most well-known attraction: the Hole-in-the-Wall. This is a dramatic sea arch, which was carved from the rock by crashing waves. During low tide, explore the surrounding tide pools; these rocky nooks are home to many sea creatures such as starfish and colorful anemones.
If the tide is in and the Hole-in-the-Wall can’t be passed on foot, climb up the short overland trail and take in panoramic views from the top of the steep cliff. This is a favorite destination for photographers looking to capture the stark, desolate beauty of the landscape.
Rialto Beach is about an hour's drive west of Port Angeles. Camping is allowed here with a permit from the Wilderness Information centers in Port Angeles or Forks.