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Watch a Winter Storm on the Pacific Coast

Olympic National Park, Washington

Instead of hiding from winter rains, hardy souls celebrate the Northwest’s dreary season with stormwatching trips to the sleety Pacific, where ferocious, 20-foot rollers regularly pound the evergreen-fringed beach. For a front-row seat, head to Shi Shi Beach on the park’s northern tip: The sand is wide enough here to put a safe distance between your tent and the waves, and you won’t need to cross any swollen creeks. From the Makah Shi Shi trailhead, stroll 2 miles through the rainforest, then scout for a sheltered site along the next 2.3 miles of beach. Note: Consult the tide table pretrip and avoid the highest high tides (above about 8 feet), which can produce dangerously big waves, and check current storm conditions with rangers. Season November to March Permit Two required. Pick up a park permit ($5/person per night) at one of three visitor centers and a Makah Recreation Pass ($10) in Neah Bay.