On our first day in Part Angeles we visited the Olympic National Park Visitor Center before heading up Hurricane Ridge. At the visitor center was a sign listing must see signs to see within Olympic National Parks. One of the things listed was tidepools. We had to see them and I’m really glad we went. We visited Beach 4 the same day we visited Rialto Beach and Forks.
Tips for visiting:
- Pay carful attention to the signs as the sign indicating this beach comes up rather quickly.
- Before hiking down to the beach stop at the notice board and read the tide schedule. Low tide is the best time to see the tidepools
- The trail to actually get to the beach is fairly steep and there is a large drop at the end. The rock is slippery, be carful.
- Tidepools are delicate, please do not disturb them. Here is Olympic NP’s tidepool etiquette.
- Don’t forget your rain jacket and good hiking boots.
From the trail leading down to the beach you walk across the black sand to a collection of large stones at the waters edge. The sky was misting and everything had a soft edges. We managed to time our visit just right and the tide was going out. It was fascinating to watch it receded as we explored.
Creatures of the Tidepools
There are many other species that live in and around the tidepools. We did spot a starfish clinging to the underside of a rock, a flash of pink that could be seen as the tide receded only to be covered again by the splash of the next incoming wave. A bit of a confession: the barnacles weird me out and I don’t know why. I didn’t touch them but it my have something to do with the idea of what they would feel like. As if they are sharp points that seem to bubble up from the rock and encasing anything unlucky enough to get trapped against them.
The beaches of Olympic National Park are absolutely stunning. They show an unforgiving side of the Pacific Ocean, compared to the Pacific you might experience off the coast near San Diego where it appears a bit calmer. What do you think of tidepools and the creatures that live there? Let me know in the comments! Safe travels!
Don’t forget to vote on my Rialto Beach poll! Vote here! I’ll announce the winner on the final Pacific Northwest post!
Thank you KW Photography for allowing me to use your wonderful photos!