Pacific Coast Recreation Area Survey
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Crescent-Agate Beaches

LOCATION: Approximately six miles west of Port Angeles, Washington, on the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

ACCESSIBILITY: By road from State Highway 9A.

DESCRIPTION OF AREA: This stretch of scenic seashore, approximately 3 miles in length, includes 2 sandy beach areas, and 2 prominent points of land jutting out into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. A combination of sandy and scenic beaches of high calibre are rare in this portion of the State of Washington. The upland at the east end of this tract was formerly part of a coastal military establishment, Camp Hayden. The vegetative cover bordering the beaches and covering the upland areas includes Sitka spruce, Douglas fir, big leaf maple, and alder. Deer, bear, grouse, and racoon are some of the most obvious animals found in these wooded areas. The bird life is abundant throughout the area. On Tongue Point there is a marker which tells of a historical boundary identified in the Treaty of 1908 between the United States and Canada.

PRESENT USE: Recreation use of the area consists of hunting and beach recreation, although no public recreation facilities have been developed. The land is largely under two ownerships; the Federal Government and one private owner. Recently a portion of the federal property has been declared surplus to government needs. Clallam County has applied for title to 160 acres of this surplus land for public park and recreation purposes.

ANALYSIS: Despite the present lack of recreation development, the extensive public use made of this area demonstrates the importance of open sandy beaches in this section of Washington. The area possesses the necessary recreation and scenic resources which qualify it as a valuable public recreation area. The present private owner has publicized his intentions to develop these areas for commercial recreation use.

Crescent-Agate Beaches


Juan de Fuca Strait

LOCATION: At the mouth of the Pysht River.

ACCESSIBILITY: By road from State Highway 9A through the Merrill and Ring Recreation Area which is administered by Clallam County.

DESCRIPTION OF AREA: This 1,000-acre area, which includes the above park, possesses excellent scenic qualities representative of a segment of the Olympic Peninsula. The accessible portion of the area is now being used beyond capacity to meet the recreation demands placed upon it. The upland area to the west of Pillar Point and the bay lowland area to the east support a second growth stand of hemlock, spruce, Douglas fir, and alder. The faunal life is typical of that found in the Olympic Peninsula coniferous forests.

PRESENT USE: The existing county park provides much needed access to the Strait of Juan de Fuca waters and is primarily a boat launching site. Salmon fishing is the primary lure of these waters. The area, other than the small county park, is not being used to any appreciable extent due to the lack of access.

ANALYSIS: There exists ample opportunity for development of facilities which could add measurably to the enjoyment of the existing recreation resources.

Juan de Fuca Strait


Hoko Beach

LOCATION: On the Strait of Juan de Fuca from the mouth of the Hoko River to a point approximately 300 yards northwest of the Sekiu River.

ACCESSIBILITY: The shore area is accessible from State Highway 9A.

DESCRIPTION OF AREA: The area consists of approximately one and one-half miles of sandy beach with a timbered portion at the southeast end of the tract. Two freshwater streams provide fishing for steelhead trout. Though lacking in any form of development, this seashore tract is heavily used for a variety of recreation pursuits.

PRESENT USE: Much of this timbered coastal stretch is owned by a commercial timber company. However, the extent of merchantable timber is limited and is not presently being logged.

ANALYSIS: Though relatively small, this stretch of seashore is easily accessible and well adapted to help fulfill the recreation needs associated with this particular region.

Hoko Beach By U.S. Coast Guard


Cape Flattery

LOCATION: Cape Flattery is the northwest point of continental United States where the Pacific Ocean and the Strait of Juan de Fuca meet.

ACCESSIBILITY: Access to the area is by State Highway 9A from Port Angeles 68 miles to the southeast.

DESCRIPTION OF AREA: This area includes 16,000 acres with an ocean shoreline of approximately 20 miles, 8 of which are quite rugged with steep coastal bluffs, abrupt rocky cliffs, offshore rocks and islands. The area extends westward from Neah Bay to Cape Flattery, then south to a point of land one and one-half miles south of the Point of the Arches. Scenically, the area is outstanding. The upland topography is generally rugged and precipitous, with numerous ridges, valleys, and peaks. The two main drainages — the Waatch and the Sooes Rivers — meet the Pacific Ocean in Mukkaw Bay. Most of the area is forested with cedar, hemlock, spruce and fir. The understory is lush, and possesses many characteristics of the Olympic rain forest. Combined with an interesting variety of animal life, it gives the area a wilderness quality. Historically, the area is associated with such early explorers as Barkley, Cook and Quimper.

PRESENT USE: The major portion of the area is utilized for the harvesting of timber. Of the 16,000 acres included, 11,000 are within the Makah Indian Reservation which is operating on a 60-year cutting cycle. The remaining acreage is owned by several lumber companies. There are small military installations on Bahokus Peak and at the mouth of the Waatch River.

ANALYSIS: The area possesses outstanding scenic, scientific, historic and recreation values, combined with high wilderness qualities, and is believed to be of national significance. It would be an extremely important accomplishment if some means could be found to preserve these values for public recreation use. It is apparent that acquisition would be difficult due to complicated ownership, tribal sentiment and high monetary value, although the State Parks and Recreation Commission at the present time is endeavoring to acquire 1,000 to 1,500 acres of private holdings.

Cape Flattery


Grenville Bay

LOCATION: A stretch of seashore extending south from Point Grenville to the mouth of Wreck Creek. The area lies within the Quinault Indian Reservation.

ACCESSIBILITY: A paved road provides easy access from the community of Moclips, Washington.

DESCRIPTION OF AREA: Grenville Bay is one of the few natural harbors of refuge for small boats to be found along this stretch of the coast of Washington. Though some of the upland area has been logged within recent years, there still exists a picturesque floral covering of which alder, hemlock, cedar, fir, cascara, salmonberry and fern predominate. Deer, bear, racoon, squirrel and chipmunk are commonly found in the wooded portion. The beach, approximately three miles long, is dotted at the north end with scenic offshore rocks. The beaches provide excellent clamming. The temperatures of the water, along with the character of the beach, provide good seasonal swimming opportunities. It was in this area in 1775 that the first white man set foot on what is now the coast of Washington.

PRESENT USE: Presently, the primary use is clamming on the beaches and some swimming. Recreation use of the uplands, however, is negligible.

ANALYSIS: The area possesses scenic, biologic, historic and geologic values which are blended together to comprise an area of high intrinsic public value. It would be desirable to find some means to preserve this area for public recreation use.

Grenville Bay


Point Brown

LOCATION: Twelve miles west of the Hoquiam-Aberdeen area, across North Bay at Grays Harbor.

ACCESSIBILITY: By State Highway 9C, 22 miles from Hoquiam and Aberdeen. Access also is afforded by airplane or boat.

DESCRIPTION OF AREA: Point Brown is a point of land at the end of a sandy peninsula that forms the north portion of Grays Harbor. The Point Brown area, which is the North Bay Peninsula, has approximately 5,100 acres and a 6 mile ocean frontage, plus 7 miles of bay frontage that includes the north jetty at the entrance of Grays Harbor. The entire ocean frontage is made up of an unusually wide, attractive sandy beach. Within this 8-square mile relatively level peninsula are over 400 acres of marshes, a 500-acre pool of shallow water behind the jetty, and Duck Lake, a long, unusually scenic freshwater lake of 250 acres. Adjacent to Duck Lake and the marshes is a dense second-growth forest with dominant trees of Sitka spruce, western hemlock, and alder. The freshwater-saltwater biological associations provide suitable habitat for a variety of waterfowl, songbirds, shore birds and invertebrate life.

PRESENT USE: Cattle grazing and limited timber harvesting were the main commercial uses in the past, although oil has been discovered recently in the Point Brown vicinity. Drilling sites have been constructed on the peninsula in anticipation of finding additional oil.

ANALYSIS: This is an unusually outstanding area with virtually unlimited recreation potentialities for public use. It would make a top quality State park. The area should be developed in cooperation with the Department of Game as it has previously been designated as a game preserve. With the further discovery of oil, the area undoubtedly would become extremely difficult to acquire. A large portion of the peninsula is included in the Long Range Master Plan of the State Parks and Recreation Commission.

Point Brown


Cape Shoalwater

LOCATION: Approximately six miles south of Grayland between Cape Shoalwater and the northwest tip of North Cove.

ACCESSIBILITY: By paved road (State Highway 13A) to North Cove Post Office and then by partially paved road to the abandoned U. S. Coast Guard Station near Tokeland.

DESCRIPTION OF AREA: In general, the area is a composite of sandy beaches, freshwater ponds, a timbered section and coastal grassland in addition to a splendid salt marsh area bordering the eastern shore of the tract. The beaches range from 10 to 70 yards in width. The timbered area is a relatively open stand and lends itself to development for a variety of public facilities. Willapa Bay is considered to be one of the finest waterfowl areas on the Washington Coast. The problem of ocean current erosion along the southeast shoreline of Cape Shoalwater is severe and stabilization measures are needed.

PRESENT USE: The area has several summer cabins and a number of private holdings in addition to a parcel of federally owned land, formerly U. S. Coast Guard Station. It receives heavy seasonal recreation use, even though there is no development to facilitate such use.

ANALYSIS: This seashore area has the necessary resources to qualify it as a valuable public seashore recreation area. The likelihood of continuing loss of land due to ocean current erosion justifies immediate evaluation of existing values and potential losses. Acquisition of any of this area for public purposes should include acquisition of a portion of the excellent waterfowl habitat in the adjacent North Cove area.

Cape Shoalwater


Leadbetter Point

LOCATION: Twenty miles north of Long Beach at the northern terminus of the North Beach Peninsula at Willapa Bay.

ACCESSIBILITY: By airplane, boat, or automobile.

DESCRIPTION OF AREA: An area 5-1/2 miles long with a maximum width of approximately 2 miles, and including some 4,250 acres. The main attractions within the area are wide sandy ocean beaches, a dense picturesque forest and a wide variety of biological values comprising excellent plant and animal communities. Immediately inland from the ocean beach is an extensive sand dune area. The topography in general varies from level to rolling, with a very small portion above the 40-foot contour. A marsh extends for a distance of one and one-half miles along the eastern, or bay side, shoreline. There are also extensive mudflats on the bay side.

PRESENT USE: Except for a few private residences, this area is virtually undeveloped. Present uses are clam digging and other recreation activities on the ocean side and commercial oyster production on the bay side.

ANALYSIS: This is an outstanding area with excellent qualifications for public seashore recreation purposes. While Leadbetter Point possesses many fine individual features, it is the aggregate of these which gives the area a high priority and importance. It does not appear that the area would be unusually difficult to acquire. It is the intention of the State Parks and Recreation Commission to acquire a portion of the privately owned lands.

Leadbetter Point


Cape Disappointment

LOCATION: The most southerly point of the State of Washington bordering on the Pacific Ocean near Ilwaco.

ACCESSIBILITY: By paved road from Ilwaco.

DESCRIPTION OF AREA: This point of land is bounded on the west by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by the Columbia River, and on the east by Baker Bay. The area contains scenic coastal bluffs and an interesting vegetative cover of trees, brush and grasses. The floral covering of the western slope is low and windpruned. On the eastern slope it is abundant, dense, and typical of Pacific Northwest coastal forest. Though not outstanding, the faunal life is typical of this ecological setting. A portion of the area known as Fort Canby is of historic significance.

PRESENT USE: Small portions of the area are currently used by U. S. Coast Guard and other public agencies. A portion of the Fort Canby tract has recently been acquired by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission.

ANALYSIS: In addition to the historically significant Fort Canby, the scenic seascapes, fresh-water lakes, and an interesting cross section of natural history, there is ample opportunity for recreation use and development which would facilitate picnicking, camping, hiking, fishing, beach recreation, salt water access, and other recreation activities. As much of this area as is possible should be acquired for public recreation purposes.

Cape Disappointment

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Last Updated: 25-Jun-2007