2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Also on

Enter Zip Code

Backpacker Magazine – June 2010

Rip & Go: Hoh River to Third Beach Olympic National Park, WA

Cross a rugged coastline on the edge of Washington's Hoh Rainforest.

by: Devon Taylor

 Mosquito Creek, mile 5.6. (Kirkendall-Spring)
Mosquito Creek, mile 5.6. (Kirkendall-Spring)
Tidal pools on the coast. (Ed Callaert)
Tidal pools on the coast. (Ed Callaert)

Download a printable version of this entire trip right here.


Is it a hike or an Army obstacle course? Both, actually, which you’ll find out as you negotiate ladders and ropes through upland rainforest and rocky beach on this 16.1-mile trek. At the Oil City trailhead (1), take the South Coast Trail along the river. Two rights lead to the coast (2); cruise past a bleached driftwood graveyard to Jefferson Cove. (Note: Cross the area at tides lower than two feet; get charts at the ranger station.) Head inland near a small waterfall (3) and scale a 60-foot cliff on two fixed ropes. The 3.5-mile upland trail winds through a high-canopy forest, and begins a roller-coaster section up log steps and down into the mossy forest. Take the boardwalk over the marshy area (4) to Mosquito Creek and camp on a bluff overlooking the Pacific (5). Next morning, don your sandals and ford Mosquito Creek at its mouth. Walk the beach north for two miles past sea stacks (6). At low tide, hike on the beach to the left side of the rocky sea stack. At high tide, clamber over driftwood on the right. Turn inland at bull’s eye marker (7), head up a hillside, and hike through a leafy trellis of salal, salmonberry (edible but bland), thimbleberry (rich and juicy), and devil’s club. Stay straight to ford 20-foot-wide Goodman Creek (8), and re-enter the woods; pass massive red cedars to Falls Creek’s low cascade. Descend a 30-foot trail ladder (9) and head north to Toleak Point, watching for bald eagles. Traverse a rocky stretch, and head past Giants’ Graveyard, a cluster of sea stacks and pinnacles. Ford Scott Creek (10) and traverse a forested hillside (use trail ropes, if needed) to the beach. At the bull’s eye trail marker, climb 90 steps into the forest. After 14.2 miles, descend to Third Beach on stairs and ladders (11) and pick up the dirt path to Third Beach parking area (12) and your shuttle.
hoh river


The Way From Port Angeles, go southwest on US 101 for 70 miles. Turn right onto Oil City Rd., and go 10.3 miles to trailhead parking.

Permit Wilderness camping is $5 plus $2/person per night. Bear canisters ($3 rental at ranger stations) are required on the coast.

Shuttle Willie Nelson’s All Points Charters and Tours: (360) 460 7131; goallpoints. com. Coastal shuttle service costs $150 for six.

Gear up Brown’s Outdoor, 112 W. Front St., Port Angeles, WA; (360) 457- 4150;

Trip data

At miles 5.6 and 8.7, it’s literally time to test the waters. Depths at Mosquito and Goldman Creeks vary from ankle-deep to thighhigh due to heavy rain and tidal shift. Ford them safely:

Pack right Wear sandals or athletic shoes rather than going barefoot; use trekking poles for balance.

Assess Cross streams at wide points where the current moves slower. Washboard ripples indicate shallow water. Use a hiking pole to test depth, or chuck a rock into the stream’s middle—a hollow “ker-plop” indicates deep water. Never cross whitewater or at depths deeper than mid-thigh.

Prepare Unbuckle your pack’s hipbelt and sternum strap, and loosen the shoulder straps to enable a quick exit. You want to jettison your pack if you get swept away.

Execute Face upstream with your trekking poles out front and sidestep across, yielding slightly to the current. Maintain two points of contact and a wide base; never cross legs.

Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Address 1:
Address 2:
Email (req):

Reader Rating: -


Star Star Star Star Star
cheap jerseys for sale
Mar 19, 2014 Stadium Series NHL Jersey cheap, Chicago blackhawks jerseys for sale
cheap china jersey wholesale
cheap nba jerseys
Warriors jerseys cheap
pacers 24 George jersey soccer jerseys for sale 2014 world cup jersey cheap china nfl jersey cheap
sale mlb jerseys cheap 2014 nba all star jerseys cheap heat nickname jersey

Ranger Bryan
Jun 07, 2011

This article doesn't mention that one needs a 2 ft. tide or lower to pass a headland just north of the mouth of the Hoh River. There is not an overland trail here so the low tide is a must. Check with the Olympic National Park Wilderness Information Center for more info. 360.565.3100


Your rating:
Your Name:


My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

Rocky Mountains
Trip report and thanks!
Posted On: Aug 27, 2014
Submitted By: grizzled
Health and Fitness
Back Pain
Posted On: Aug 27, 2014
Submitted By: ol-zeke
View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions