Explore Olympic National Park South - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Hiked the Sand Point trail as an out and back. Wanted to do the entire loop but it was raining pretty heavily, high tide had come in and the presence of a mama bear and her cubs down the beach where we were going to go also made us reconsider. No matter. This trail is absolutely gorgeous and has everything. Majestic forests with towering trees, ferns blanketing the forest floor, ocean views. It is an extremely easy trail as it is an improved path and/or boardwalks all throughout. In the rain though, the boardwalk gets slick so use caution when walking (I even fell once walking slightly too fast). We definitely want to come back and do the Cape Alava Trail and then explore the beach at low tide. It’s kind of hard to get to as the roads are windy and there’s pretty much nothing else out that way but I recommend anyone to make the special trip.

backpacking
19 days ago

Backpacked out here on 10/26, hiked in on the Cape Alava trail, then South along the beach. This is much easier to do at low tide! Be aware as of that day there is a mother black bear with two cubs who doesn't seem to be terribly afraid of humans. It's a beautiful flat trail with wonderful views of rock formations and the opportunity to see Petroglyphs. I'll definitely be back.

hiking
27 days ago

The middle section of this spectacular trail hugs the coastline and is dotted with hundreds of tide pools. There’s so much to explore that the hike ended up taking longer than anticipated.

hiking
28 days ago

I only made it 4 miles out. The stretch that I hiked was a nice shaded trail that ran alongside the Hoh River.

backpacking
1 month ago

This was a fantastic 3-day backpacking trip to Blue Glacier and back. The mileage on here isn't correct. It's 17.5 miles one way to Glacier Meadows (35 roundtrip), and then about another mile to the Lateral Moraine, a spectacular view of Blue Glacier. That puts the full trail roundtrip at around 37 miles. There is another spur trail at 17.5 miles in (listed as .8 miles one way I think) to the Terminal Moraine, providing another stunning view of the glacier, this time standing high above where the glacier ends. Both of these steep-climbing trails are well worth the effort. The glacier is definitely the highlight, but the whole hike is gorgeous, with plenty of wildlife, gigantic trees covered in moss, and beautiful views of the Hoh River scattered throughout. My first night was at Mount Tom Creek (~3 miles in). My second night I camped at Elk Lake (~14 miles in), which was a nice campground in the woods. I left most of my stuff there while I hiked with a day pack (smart ranger recommendation) to the glacier and back, then packed up and hiked to Lewis Meadows for the third night. I was on my way out of the park when I stopped at Five Mile Island for lunch and decided it was too nice a spot to leave. I pitched my tent and hiked out and back in after resupplying and registering for two more nights. I definitely recommend staying at Five Mile Island either on the way in or out - it's a beautiful spot on the river, and for my stay, elk showed up before sunset both nights. I think fall is a great time of year for this hike - There are less people, and if you can time it up with good weather, it's pretty ideal. My first day was rainy and the people I saw backpacking out had been in rain the whole trip and seemed miserable. The rest of my trip was around freezing at night and sunny and 60s every day - good stuff. I'm excited to go back.

backpacking
1 month ago

Hiked to Camp Alava this August in the late afternoon and found a spot at the very end of the camping area. Pretty crowded. The trail itself was super friendly with the boardwalks and easy terrain. Day 2 I hiked to Sand Point. Camped early and enjoyed the beach for most of the day. This part of the trail, along the coast, I had to watch my step a little more, over rocks, driftwood and tide pools. Day 3 was a quick hike back on the other boardwalk. Beautiful and satisfying hike.

completed the trail in 2 days. spent the night at Cape Alava. overland trail by wedding rocks washed out in a section. handful of blow downs across the beach after wedding rocks. a few broken boards on the board walk going towards Sand Point.
Cape Alava has great camp sites. we fit 3 tents comfortably. Nice privys. We saw 5 raccoons, but non bothered us or our bear canisters.

hiking
1 month ago

We hiked this trail the day after Mt Ellinor and greatly preferred the length and trail conditions. If you like long hikes with gentle grades, combined with doable ascents this is a highly recommended hike. The views at Flapjack Lakes did not disappoint, but it made us wonder if we should have left earlier and tried Gladys Pass. Total length is 15 miles, which we completed in a fairly casual 6.5 hours.

backpacking
2 months ago

We did this as a clockwise bike going to Camp Alava and beach hike to Sand Point on first day. Our route was determined to coincide with low tide and desire to camp at Sand Point. Not many folks at all but it was also pretty rainy weather.

Petroglyphs were amazing. Also saw a large female sea lion on the beach and very large male on the rocks about 100 yards from us. A black bear was roaming the beach at Sand Point.

We left Camp Alava about two hours after high tide and encountered several large trees to navigate under, over or around. Another hour and we could have just walked around them. It took about three hours for us to go from Camp Alava to Sand Point including some time at Wedding Rock to search for the petroglyphs.

Water was readily available at Sand Creek and although it definitely had color to it after filtering, it actually was very acceptable for drinking even without adding anything to it.

This was a beautiful hike in a remote area and we will definitely go back. As a side note, we found a lot of trash at several of the campsites at Sand Point. It was very disappointing to see the lack of respect some campers have for such a beautiful area. It was also a real eye-opener to see the large trash items washed up from the ocean -- mostly plastic, but also tires and even a row boat.

backpacking
2 months ago

A magnificent place. So much beautiful nature to appreciate. The views change and astound all the time. The tides, fog, sun make a lot of difference. The boardwalk and the rocks on the beach can get slippery. A lot of driftwood on the beach. A truly amazing experience. Wooden walkways leading to the beach. On the beach between Sand Point and Cape Alava, at low tide, you can walk on rocks, seaweed and sand. The landscape and visibility change dramatically between high and low tide, and between a sunny and a foggy, cloudy or rainy day, which is very interesting to observe. There is an abandoned Makah - Ozette Ranger Station just north of Cape Alava which looks like it should be taken away, as it is quite an eyesore, but the nature and views on this trail are breathtaking. A great place to take in many great views of the seastacks and the picturesque Tskawahyah Island, and enjoy a lovely sunset sitting on a log on the beach.

Nice hike with easy access to many beautiful & refreshing swimming holes close to the trailhead very convenient for summer hikes with little ones.

backpacking
2 months ago

Absolutely beautiful! The trailhead is crowded - lots of trails start here. And the first half mile of the trail was a bit busy, but after that we were mostly alone. Yea, it gets steep, but really nothing crazy. Beautiful campground, with sites pretty spread out. A great swim with great views! One annoyance: there is some water flowing between the two lakes - but it was far from our campsite. So drinking water wasn’t as close as we’d like.
Get out there! Enjoy!!

backpacking
2 months ago

I would classify this as hard, unless you are only backpacking to the 12.4 mile campsite or lower, and then day hiking to the moraine, and doing this in 3 days, 2 nights, or longer.

We backpacked into Elk Lake in one day, from 8:30 am, to 4:00 pm. From Elk Lake, we started at 4:30 am and we hiked through the lateral moraine, and to the end of the ridge by 7:00 am, and it was magnificent. We were blessed with amazing weather, no clouds, and being all alone. We hiked back to Elk Lake by 9:00, packed up and hiked out with our gear by 4:15 pm. I wouldn't recommend 2 day/1 night-ing this trip. If I did it again, I'd either get all the way to Glacier Meadows on Day 1, or leave earlier on Day 1, drop off gear at Elk Lake, and summit the same day. Or just do 3 days/2 nights. We found a canceled campsite at Kalaloch beach for Sunday night, so we made a goal to get back early enough to get there, and see the sunset at the beach. We wrecked our bodies, but I don't think many people can watch the sun come up next to Blue Glacier, and then watch the sun set over the ocean from Kalaloch Beach in one day.

One Note: We did the rope bridge/ladder between Elk Lake and Glacier Meadows at approx. 5:15 am, and still no sun light. No where did I read where you go after you climb down, but once at the bottom of the ladder, you walk straight left, and climb back out of the valley via the rocks.

Hiked about 4.5 miles into the trail before having to turn around. Will definitely be coming back here to do more of the trail.

hiking
2 months ago

We hiked a very short patch of this trail during our trip, it is an easy-going and relaxing hike! The views are amazing, and if you're lucky, you could encounter some pretty awesome wildlife!

on Hoh River Trail

backpacking
2 months ago

amazing trail weather you do a little bit or a lot! A perfect trail if you’re just getting into backpacking.. I camped at Five Mile Island making it a 10 mile round trip. The earlier you get there the better camping spot you get. Be sure to carry bear spray and steer clear of the yellow jackets!

We drove out and did the ozette loop trail first, and unfortunately it way outshined this one.

Easy hike to the waterfall, which was beautiful. My kids enjoyed swimming in the river on the way out.

***** beware of yellow-jackets!!! If you have an allergy, I would suggest you DON’t hike this trail. Many of the logs have nests in them. On the way to the waterfall, one of my children got stung 3 times and on the way out, another child got stung 2 times!! ALL WHILE STAYING ON THE TRAIL.

hiking
2 months ago

We made it in one day.It was quite difficult and I must say that the difficulty doesnt worth it. As one lady said It is good workout. The way is full of stones and the last past is quite steep. At the end of trail are 2 lakes (nothing special). Maybe if you plan to continue to the divide it would be nice because of view. But today was smoky because of fires. A hiker from Czech rep.

What a great boardwalk trail through the forest! We hiked the loop trail counter clockwise that way most of the elevation was at the beginning. I say elevation, it’s hardly anything, but when hiking with kids, all these things must be accounted for. It’s good to have the AllTrails app on for gps for sure once you get to the beach part of the trail. The only bit that was a little confusing for others hiking around us were the bullseyes marking shoot off trails off the beach. Those trails led hikers around beach rocky areas that may be under water. After talking with a few other hikers, as long as the tide is out, it’s way better to just walk the beach. The only problem is hiking on the sand and rocks can get a bit tricky and the seaweed is seriously smelly! The fog was very thick when we hiked today. I was told by Friday that will have lifted.

backpacking
3 months ago

I did not make it all the way to the lake due to lots of smoke from the wildfire in Hamma Hamma not too far away, and very hot. I would classify this as a more difficult hike carrying an overnight backpack. Trail was in good condition, some pesky wasps circling my head for much of the hike. I look forward to trying it again when it cools down and the smoke clears out.

backpacking
3 months ago

looks like it dropped right out of a book. amazing place!!!

We did the triangle over two days and one night spent at Sandy Point. We hiked to the point in the afternoon (a quick easy hike in) and set up camp.the area is beautiful and it’s hard to beat the tide pooling! The hike out the next day was beautiful! Be careful of the tides!

Great walk! A few more people than I expected, but great to see folks enjoying this wonderful stretch of land and sea. Take a meal and take your time.

on Hoh River Trail

walking
3 months ago

Pretty. The drive up was very scenic. The fresh blue water of the river was very relaxing to sit by. I even got enough courage to soak my feet in it. Very refreshing!

hiking
4 months ago

I hiked up 2 miles to Tom Creek where I was greeted by a picturesque waterfall. The trail was beautiful and shaded with a gentle climb.

hiking
4 months ago

I’ve only hiked a portion of this trail but this forest needs to be seen to be believed. So much natural beauty. I hope to go back someday to see more.

hiking
4 months ago

Definitely different!! Be aware of tide changed and wear good enclosed shoes that grip well. Beautiful hike. Saw sea lions on rocks in distance. Long drive on curvy rough road to get there.

I did 20 miles of this trail last summer. It was rugged terrain with elevation and many challenges for a first time hiker. The scenery was breathtaking. We woke up one morning at dawn to a deer grazing 5ft from our tent. One she left, we were visited by a coyote. I'm hoping to go back so that we can hike the glacier.

Lovely mix of terrain. Mostly flat trail hugging the river. Great views. Mossy trees. Alleged black bear sightings, which we luckily avoided.

hiking
4 months ago

Gorgeous, unique, enjoyable hike! Not too much elevation change. Left from the HOH visitor center and hiked three miles to the waterfall and back. Gorgeous views of Olympic and the hoh river with its unique color. Recommended!!!

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