Point of the Arches

by

Shi Shi (Pronounced Shy Shy) beach located in the Olympic Peninsula is a 2.3 mile long sand beach that is only accessible via the two mile long access trail that starts on the Makah tribe lands.   The access trail is relatively flat, except for the steep 155 foot bluff at its coastal termination.  Once on the beach, it is two miles south to the Point of Arches, a rocky point.   The only reliable source of water in this region is Petroleum Creek. The wather in the creek is tea stained and filtering your water is mandatory.  

Some things to note about this trip.  The Makah Tribe requires a $10 pass to access the trail.  Parking at the trailhead is limited but there are pay for parking areas relatively close by.  These cost around $10 per day.  To camp on the beach is $8 per night, per person.  You can purchase the Makah Tribe Recreation Pass at Neah Bay.  The permit to camp can be purchased at Port Angeles.  Also, note that your food must be stored in approved bear canisters. 

Point of the Arches Trail

The access trail can be very muddy.  While it is realitively easy to hike, the various parts of the trail can be muddy.

Point of the Arches Trail
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Figure 1 - Point of the Arches Access Trail

Point of the Arches Bluff

The bluff is quite steep.  Take your time as there are many stairs that you must traverse as you make your way down to the beach.  

Point of the Arches Bluff
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Figure 1 - Point of the Arches Bluff

Point of the Arches First View

After descending the bluff, you are presented with a spectacular view of the two mile Shi Shi beach.  

Point of the Arches First View
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Figure 1 - Point of the Arches First View

Shi Shi Beach Point of the Arches

Approaching the Point of the Arches on Shi Shi beach during an amazing sunset.  

Shi Shi Beach Point of the Arches
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Figure 1 - Shi Shi Beach Point of the Arches

Shi Shi Beach Point of the Arches Sea Stacks

Some of the many Sea Stacks at Point of the Arches during sunset.  The tide was coming in during this shot.

Shi Shi Beach Point of the Arches Sea Stacks
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Figure 1 - Shi Shi Beach Point of the Arches Sea Stacks

Shi Shi Beach Point of the Arches Star Fish

The tide pools present an opportunity to catch a glimpse of the sea life on the beach.  I have never seen so many star fish before.  

Shi Shi Beach Point of the Arches Star Fish
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Figure 1 - Shi Shi Beach Point of the Arches Star Fish

Shi Shi Beach Point of the Arches

And this the reason this place is called Point of the Arches.  There are many caves or arches in this area.  But you can only access them at low tide.  On this particular day there was a negative tide, so more arches were exposed.  It was a truly unique opportunity to capture a sunrise with a low tide. 

Shi Shi Beach Point of the Arches
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Figure 1 - Shi Shi Beach Point of the Arches

Shi Shi Beach Point of the Arches Big

One of the larger arches in this area.  

Shi Shi Beach Point of the Arches Big
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Figure 1 - Shi Shi Beach Point of the Arches Big

Shi Shi Beach Point of the Arches Big Star Fish

There are so many opportunities to view the sea life up close.  This is an amazing example of the starfish in this area.

Shi Shi Beach Point of the Arches Big Star Fish
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Figure 1 - Shi Shi Beach Point of the Arches Big Star Fish

Shi Shi Beach Point of the Arches Beach

Just another beach photo.

Shi Shi Beach Point of the Arches Beach
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Figure 1 - Shi Shi Beach Point of the Arches Beach

Leaving Shi Shi Beach Point of the Arches

And finally, leaving the Point of the Arches.  I was really sad to leave.  But I hope to return sometime soon.  My overall impression of this beach was amazing.  However, it can be very busy, especially in the summer.  Also, keep track of where you camp, sometimes waves come in higher than expected.   Bathrooms on the beach are limited too so you need to get a little creative in finding a place to go.  Do bring a water filter if you camp overnight and approved bear canisters are required for food.   

Leaving Shi Shi Beach Point of the Arches
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Figure 1 - Leaving Shi Shi Beach Point of the Arches