My Rialto Beach Camping Trip

rialto beach

   In the summer I usually try to avoid popular places such as the coast.   The plan was to visit Hole in the Wall, Rialto Beach; which is a part of the North Olympic Coast in Washington State.  This trip would be done in winter conditions, I was sure to check the tides and weather to make sure that the beach would be safe to camp on.

The weather the last few weeks have been marginally good for this time of year; long as you don't mind the cold.  I would need all my winter gear for this adventure.

Using public transportation from Port Angeles, I loaded my bike onto the rack in front of the Forks Bus.  Once in Forks, I transferred to the La Push Bus.  I was surprised on the size of the La Push Bus.  I was expecting a little shuttle, not a full size Bus with room for 3 on the bike rack.

 The bike ride from where the bus dropped me off to the beach was an easy ride.  I was on a mission during the 5 mile road ride, to reach the coast before sunset to snap a few photos.

bike rialto beach

  I arrived to the coast at low tide, so this made for a safe and easy beach walk.  It is a lot easier to walk on the wet sand, over pinned up on the tideline; where it can be more dangerous.   I had to hustle to find my campsite before dark.

backpack rialto beach

hike rialto beach

   I arrived at my campsite with a sliver of light left.   The ground very damp cold.  There were signs that a recent storms had pushed water up in and through the area.  Lots of driftwood and debris was scattered all over the ground where I was to pitch my shelter.

All the wood in the area was a big plus, because I would not have to go far to gather camp wood for the evening and next day.

  It took me a good 30 minutes working on starting a fire; with the wood so saturated.  After some time,  I had a blazing heat source to keep warm on the 29 degree night.  Its good to have a hot fire in the winter.

rialto campfire

  The next morning I arose a hour or so before sunrise.  My goal was to start another campfire before the sun came up.   After that I focused my attention to photography.  I recently bought a new camera to occupy my time.

rialto camp

The whole coastline was covered with a blanket of thick frost.  The cold weather made the beach appear as powdered sugar.  It was amazing.

frost driftwood

winter rialto

rialto sea stacks

rialto beach

  One of the highlights of the trip was finding a little beach treasure.  A Japanese fishing float, which may have been at sea for some time.  It was wedged in between some beach logs, possibly deposited during the last storm.

coastal debris
Japanese Float

  While waiting for the tide to go out, I spend a few hours in camp for a time of self reflection.  I also enjoyed a few cups of tea to help me stay warm.  I was thankful that I brought a bar of chocolate to enjoy as well.  

rialto camping
Chocolate Bar

  After the tide went down, I made quick work at breaking down camp and walking back the trailhead to reach my bike.  After a short walk and began to peddle back to the bus stop, the temperature was already back around 32 degrees.  Once I got back to Three Rivers Resort, where I would meet the bus, I went inside for a late lunch. 

I had time before my ride, to enjoy a chili burger and a big basket of greasy fries.  Yum.

three rivers resort

My Short Video

Overall I had fun even tho it was cold winter camp.  The rewards of not dealing with bugs and tourists were priceless.  I plan on going back soon.  p.s. Total out of pocket travel expense was $5 round trip.

Updated on December 2015 by Barefoot Jake