A three-hour drive from Seattle, the small town of La Push is the gateway to excellent beach camping.
Before you hit the sand, there are a couple requirements for this trip to consider. Taking the 101 highway west from the Seattle area, be sure to stop in Port Angeles to get your wilderness camping permit at the Wilderness Information Center. The National Park Service requires you to carry a park-approved bear canister to store food and garbage. These can be rented from the ranger station where you get your permit if you don’t own one. For more details about rules and permits, visit the National Park Service.
La Push offers access to three world-class beaches — First Beach, Second Beach and Third Beach — all located a few miles apart. However, it isn’t possible to hike between each beach as they are all separated by dense forests and cliffs.
The hikes from the parking lots to each beach are on well-maintained trails. First Beach is a short hike. Second Beach is the longest at 2 miles from trail head to beach, and Third Beach is 1.2 miles from trail head to beach.
Each beach has its own feel and views, so it’s worth exploring all three.
Choose your camp site wisely as the tide can fluctuate quite drastically… and no one likes waking up in the middle of the night to a tent full of sea water. Pick up a tide chart at the ranger station or observe the high tide marks on the beach and logs.