• Olympic: Three Parks in One

    Olympic

    National Park Washington

There are park alerts in effect.
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  • Madison Falls Trail Closed for Repairs Beginning July 7

    The one-tenth mile Madison Falls Trail and trailhead parking lot located in Elwha Valley will close to public entry beginning on Monday, July 7 while crews make improvements and repairs.

  • Spruce Railroad Trail Improvements to Begin August 5

    Spruce Railroad Trail will be closed from the Lyre River TH to approximately 0.25 miles east of Devil’s Punchbowl. Work is expected to be completed by the end of October. The remainder of the trail will be accessible from the Camp David Jr. Road TH. More »

  • Safety Advisory: Mountain Goats

    NPS has received reports of aggressive mountain goats near trails at Hurricane Ridge, Royal Basin, Seven Lakes Basin, Lake of the Angeles, & Grand Pass. Visitors are required to maintain a distance of at least 50 yards from all wildlife. More »

  • Safety Advisory: Rabies

    Rabies has been detected in a single bat in the Lake Crescent area of the park. Rabies exposure is extremely rare, but fatal if untreated. Anyone observing unusual or aggressive behavior among park wildlife should inform a park ranger as soon as possible. More »

Third Beach Trail

 

Notices:

  • As of May 2013, all food, garbage and scented items must be stored, overnight and when unattended, in park-approved Bear Canisters along the entire Olympic National Park Wilderness Coast. Buckets or other hard-sided containers are no longer permitted.
  • Pets, use of weapons, and wheeled devices are prohibited on coastal beaches and trails.
  • Wilderness Camping Permits are required for overnight camping at Third Beach and elsewhere on the coast. Obtain permits at the Wilderness Information Center (WIC) in Port Angeles.
 
Area Description:

Ecosystem type: Coastal Forest and Ocean Beach
Trail tread types: Well maintained
General elevation trend: Flat
River crossings: None
Unique features: Ocean views, sea stacks (offshore land formations). There are excellent opportunities to view bald eagles and seals, and bird life is common on sea stacks. Whale migration occurs in March/April and October.
Level of difficulty: Easy
Distance: 1.4 mile
Elevation change: 240 feet elevation loss on the way in
Best Season: Year round

 
 

Camping:

Permits/Reservations: Obtain permits at the WIC in Port Angeles or the South Shore Lake Quinault Ranger Station. No reservations for South Coast.
Group Size Restrictions: Groups are limited to no more than 12 people. Associated groups of more than 12 must camp and travel at least 1 mile apart and may not combine at any time in a group of more than 12.
Food Storage Method: As of May 2013, all food, garbage and scented items must be stored, overnight and when unattended, in park-approved Bear Canisters along the entire Olympic National Park Wilderness Coast. Buckets or other hard-sided containers are no longer permitted.
Campsites: There are a few campsites off the beach in the forest but most camping is on the beach above high tide. During summer, camping space can be scarce!
Toilet Facilities: Pit toilet where trail meets the beach.
Water Source: Most coastal water sources have a tea-stained appearance. The light tan color originates from tannin leached from leaves. Cryptosporidium and giardia exist in coastal streams and rivers; therefore, always filter or boil water. Iodine is ineffective against cryptosporidium.
Stock: Prohibited on all park beaches and beach trails.

 

Special Concerns:

Leave No Trace: Leave No Trace of your stay to protect vegetation and prevent further camping regulations. Camp in established sites or on sand to prevent damage to vegetation.
Campfires: To protect coastal forests, please burn only driftwood.
Wildlife Precautions: Due to the ingenuity of raccoons and other wildlife in obtaining human food, as of May 2013, all food, garbage and scented items must be stored, overnight and when unattended, in park-approved Bear Canisters along the entire Olympic National Park Wilderness Coast. Buckets or other hard-sided containers are no longer permitted.

 

Safety:

  • Never try to round hazardous headlands at high tide. Always carry a tide chart and topographic map. Don't get trapped!
  • Beach logs may not be stable. Use extreme caution when walking on logs.
 
Bear canisters
Raccoons can easily get food bags hung from trees. To avoid having your camp raided by raccoons or bears, always store all food, garbage and scented items in bear canisters on the coast.
 
Illegal Food Storage
Raccoons can easily get food bags hung like this. All food, garbage and scented items MUST be stored in hard-sided containers like bear canisters. There is a $50 fine for illegal food storage.
 
Looking north along Third Beach
Looking north along Third Beach.
Eric Romano, NPS

Did You Know?

dam with water flowing

Removal of two dams on the Elwha River is the second largest ecosystem restoration project in the National Park System.