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Second Beach

An easy beach trail along the Olympics' South Coast

By the Numbers

Distance
3 miles
Elevation
20 feet
Moving Time
1h0m
Nutrition
Best to bring your own water but there is a small stream about a mile south of the trailhead with enough flow while we there to be filtered
Logistics
It’s a popular beach but has ample parking; we found a terrific camp site above the sand just south of the large rock near the trailhead; the forest walk has limited elevation gain / loss and the beach walking is flat; do watch the tides!
External

A tale of so many fronts: sun, fog, thicker fog, sun breaks. “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes” was never truer advice.

But let’s start with the conversation of the trip. As we arranged our packs a truck with a large metal cage and a “Beware of werewolf” sticker plastered along the top parked alongside us. As the cage opened a large black canine jumped out.

Yikes – we were near Forks after all!

Kid and I hadn’t been to the beach in several years, our last trip was way back in 2017 on an overnight to Rialto Beach.

Campsite
Campsite

On the walk through the woods I asked a returning hiker for any campsite advice and she offered to turn left at the big rock and look into the woods, there was a nice site above the beach with good views and off the sand. We were fortunate enough to be rewarded for our early arrival with this primo spot.

Crying Lady Rock with blues skies
Crying Lady Rock with blues skies

We arrived to blue skies and a hint of clouds, ideal conditions for a sunset and a night of astrophotography.

View from the campsite as the thick fog rolls in
View from the campsite as the thick fog rolls in
Fog rolling in around the point
Fog rolling in around the point
Thick fog rolling in
Thick fog rolling in
Fog obscuring the seastacks
Fog obscuring the seastacks
Fog over the incoming tide
Fog over the incoming tide

However, by the time we had walked the beach and settled into a relaxing afternoon, the fog had rolled in and in and in. To the beach it was all fog, to the woods behind us it was still blue.

Gold, shimmering light
Gold, shimmering light

The night brought a shimmering gold sky but no colorful sunset as we’ve experienced in past trips to the beach.

Sunrise, full moon, and Crying Lady Rock
Sunrise, full moon, and Crying Lady Rock
Crying Lady Rock in the morning light
Crying Lady Rock in the morning light

The morning brought wonderful light, mixing colors and sunlight on Crying Lady Rock.

Retreat!
Retreat!

At one point I was framing a shot when the incoming tide arrived sooner than expected and I had to retreat! The camera was set on a two-second delay so it fired as I made my way to dry ground.

Trail through the woods back to the TH
Trail through the woods back to the TH

After a leisurely beach walk dodging the incoming tide, we packed up camp and made our way through the foggy woods back to the truck and home.

Route

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