Travel Log: Backpacking to Third Beach | Olympic National Forest

Backpacking at Second Beach in Olympic National Park
Backpacking at Second Beach in Olympic National Park

Camping in the Olympics. Pray for Sun | Prepare for Rain.

3 day weekends are heavenly. Locations without cell service are blissful. National Parks without roads are absolutely divine.

I succeeded in checking off another Pacific Northwest bucket list item when I ventured to Olympic National Park with 20 other outdoor enthusiasts for Memorial weekend.  It was the first backpack of the season and we were all anxious to disconnect from our daily lives and be on mother nature's timeline.  This is what draws me to camping. It's life, stripped of distractions and obligations. I have nothing more than what I packed on my back; which makes decision making incredibly easy throughout the day. What's for breakfast? Coffee & oatmeal. What clothes should I wear? Anything that's clean (which may very well mean putting on something dirty). Should I read or take a nap? Both.

 The thinking mind can let go and can settle on the magnificence of the moment. My natural intelligence can sync with the dynamism of the environment. I'll wake when the sun rises, to the sound of crashing waves. I'll fall asleep when the sun sets and to that same lullaby of steady surf.

Camping at Third Beach at Olympic National Park
Camping at Third Beach at Olympic National Park

Here are the details for our backpack trip to Third Beach, beginning the hike from La Push.


Below is the route we took from Seattle. Factor in a ferry ride and the total trips takes closer to 5 hours. 

HIKING DISTANCE & TIPS: 3.6 miles roundtrip, easy.

  • If you are staying overnight make sure to stop at the WIC in Port Angeles or the Lake Quinault Ranger Station to grab a permit and a park approved bear canister for food & anything scented.
  • There are a few campsites off the beach in the forest but most camping is on the beach. Watch for high tide.
  • There is only a pit toilet. Get up early enough to do your business if you're potty shy.
  • Remember, Leave No Trace practices!


Water [water pump or SteriPEN for water purification], Food [PB & J's all day everyday and these delicious bars], Coffee + JetBoil, sunscreen, Backpacking tent and/or hammock, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, headlamp, backpacking stove, lighter, rain jacket.


frisbee for pickup games of ultimate, smore fixins, a good read (currently engrossed in Shantaram), red wine


Do you have any backpacking or camping trips planned for this summer? Share your itinerary!