Rialto Beach is located on the Olympic Peninsula just North of the famous La Push beach. You may recognize the name "La Push" if you are a Twighlight movie fan (if not there is a beach scene in the movie). The beach features many rock formations or stacks, including a rock outcrop called hole in the wall in addition to many tide pools.
Rialto Beach is easily accessible. Just North of Forks on turn on Mora road and follow the signs. You will pass Mora campground as you travel through lush Pacific Northwest rain forest to reach Rialto Beach. To park at Rialto beach, you need a National Park pass. To camp, it is five dollars per night. It is easiest to take care of all your national park fees and passes in Port Angeles. So dont forget your pass before you visit. Also, camping over night requires food containers due to problems with racoons. Additionally, no dogs are allowed beyond Ellen Creek.
Hiking Rialto Beach
Hiking Rialto Beach is relatively easy. I was with a group of five amazing people I found via meetup.com. There is nothing like sharing an adventure with five other strangers. The beach is not all sand. There are patches of gravel throughout many stretches of the beach so some kind of foot wear is recommended. Although the amount of gravel seems to change from year to year. Starting at Rialto, you hike north, past Ellen Creek (the only source of fresh water for a while, so bring plenty of fresh water). Past Ellen creek, the scenery becomes more exciting.
Figure 1 -
Hiking Rialto Beach
Where Did the First Stack Go?
On the way to Hole in the Wall, from Rialto Beach, you passed two amazong stack formations. However the first stack, finally fell over this year, sometime in March of 2016. This does not happen very often. I spoke with three other landscape photographers who were out taking photos who also were wondering where the first stack went too. Well now we know. This image is all that remains of the first stack.
Figure 2 -
First stack now lays crumbled on the beach
Rialto Beach Second Stack
The second stack on Rialto Beach is the most impressive, especially for sunsets.
Figure 3 -
Second Stack in the Morning
The mornings on Rialto Beach are equally impressive. There is always a fog over the ocean that results in a soft glow.
Figure 4 -
Craby the Crab
Tide pools around hole in the wall are plentiful. There are always interesting sea life to explore. I moved a big rock and found a huge crab. He was not happy to have his home altered.
Figure 5 -
Crab prepares for attack!
The same crab in a much more friendlier pose. I trully believe the crab has two defensive postures. The first posture, put up your claws and look threatening. The other posture, fold your claws in, make your eyes look big and go for the cute look. I can say both postures were extremely effective.
Figure 6 -
Hole in the Wall
Hole in the Wall is a cave that goes through a rock. This is the only way to go further North along the beach. You can only pass through at low tide. Otherwise, you have to take a trail up and over, which is steep. There are many tide pools around hole in the wall.
Figure 7 -
Famous Hole in the Wall
Rays of sun in the morning penetrate the forest and the fog to create these stunning rays of light.
Figure 8 -
Rialto Beach Stonehenge
On our last day on Rialto Beach, stonehenge was constructed. Now, people will gaze in wonder for centuries to come trying to figure out mysteries of this anthropological wonder.
Figure 9 -
Indigenous Rock Formations