Olympic Coast South Trail is a 16.2 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Forks, Washington that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November.
Great Trail. Watch the tides. Wilderness permits are available at either trail head (Third Beach or Oil City). NPS requires you to have bear canisters for your food. These are available for free at NPS headquarters in Port Angeles.
Did this trail with an international group of about 11 people....at the end of Feb. 2013. Did it as a 4 day/ 3 night affair starting in the afternoon from the trail head just up the road from La Push. Pretty challenging in parts because of heavy mud on the overland. Heavy rains added to the task as there were several places where we needed to cross a long stretch of slick logs piled up. The final 3+ mile overland stretch was a bigger challenge than expected because I think at least half of the 1700 ft elevation change happens just there! Lots of muddy up and downs. Our final campsite was washed away so we had to tough it out to the end of the trail (where it finally heads inland along the mouth of the river) at night -- as we had to wait for the tide to go out in order to make it around the promontory there. Altogether exciting, breath-taking and would love to do it again (albeit during a better season & a more experienced group) but this is no simple "walk on the beach" for sure.
The whole coast is beautiful and would recommend all of the trails
I walked this trail with a couple toilet paper empty cores attached to my specs. I saw everything that appeared in those tunnels. Mud that wouldn't stay out of my shoes. sand. eagles. Brilliant sun and clouds in April 2014. Logjams, lots of green stuff. surf. sea stacks. ropes, ladders, sand. starfish, smooth stones, rough stones. I only fell through one rotted wooden plank.
This trip works best as a three day/2 night (minimum) trip from La Push to Hoh river and back to La Push to see all the stuff that only eyes in the back of your head could have. Unless you think you'll be as lucky as me, getting a ride from a fishing guide at the Hoh River and then catching a Community Shuttle in Forks back to the trailhead.
Time your trip for late morning to mid afternoon low tides (seemed to work for me )
Wear shoes that will let the water drain out. Goretex shoes won't do that.
On the mud and the water: embrace it--avoidance just creates stress.
Cross streams at their widest point when you do cross (you really CAN wait for a lower tide.) Live to hike again.
I have done this hike as a two day and a single day in late October and Early November. Nice scenery, saw otters and a couple eagles as well as signs of several other varieties of wildlife. depending on the rain and tides some of the river crossings can be quite challenging, particularly with packs on. At least one was about waste deep and moving fast enough that it was difficult to stand. Also, you must mind the tides as some areas are not really passable if the tide is in.
Much easier than the North section. I use this for my winter hikes when the snow is deep in the mountains. The storms are magnificent! You will need a permit and you have to carry a bear canister for raccoons mostly.
Lots of people on this trail but everyone tries to give each other there space. Other than that, the trail is a cruiser, nice and flat with a few ups and downs... and the occasional cable ladder.