Olympic Coast South Trail

HARD 43 reviews
#36 of 166 trails in

Olympic Coast South Trail is a 15.9 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.

Distance: 15.9 miles Elevation Gain: 2,276 feet Route Type: Point to Point

backpacking

camping

fishing

hiking

nature trips

trail running

bird watching

beach

cave

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

scramble

no dogs

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.

hiking
muddy
scramble
3 days ago

This was an adventure. It is a beautiful and very unique hike, but it is dangerous and more than reviewed thus far. The beginning is easy and mellow. Then you reach the beach. Beach walking is fine though you must time the tides right. The ropes you must scramble up are up cliff sides. they are very steep, one slip and you’d fall to a terrible emergency or more. At times you are forced to go up the cliff side pulling yourself and pack up a rope, or risk being swept away by the tide. the overhangs are fun and breath catching. Overall was very unique and very awesome but one of the scariest things I’ve done.

hiking
muddy
scramble
4 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

Is and will always be the GOAT. You get a little bit of everything, including sometimes nasty weather, but when you catch a sunny day there is no place in the world I’d rather be. Got that perfect weather this weekend 6/7-6/9 and had a fantastic couple days. Wildlife was in full display, dozen different eagles, deer, raccoon, tons of seals. Starfish are also looking more plentiful after quite a few lean years.

camping
1 month ago

Amazing!!

hiking
scramble
2 months ago

Beautiful little trail. Very easy with a couple fun scrambles. Not too busy even on weekends lots of eagles and seals. Quite wet but as expected for coastal hiking. We only went to Toleak for the weekend but water is delicious (but use a filter) and get a bear can from the visitors centre.

backpacking
scramble
washed out
3 months ago

An absolutely fantastic bp you'll want as many days as possible to enjoy! The scrambles using ropes & rough beaches take lots of energy so I wouldn't plan on moving too quickly. Also, if you don't plan your hiking with low tide you may find yourself waiting on it quite often! If you can pull your self with a rope you should be able to do it, easier than a pull up! Did an out&back from 3rd beach to mosquito creek. Wasn't sure about water so carried way too much making it difficult! W good filter fresh water is available in a stream at toleak point, mosquito Creek (at low tides) & the headland between so one day worth probably will do. That headland is the coolest & toughest to traverse! Awesome swimming holes. 2 Fords (3 in all with mosquito cr.) that were much deeper when I first came through I believe effected by the tide. At low tide both were shin deep. Their is a bit of debree blocking path just on south side of the waterfall creek ford that can be confusing; You'll want to head the opposite way of the waterfall (coming from toleak point) until you find the trail following another creek south. In all an amazing adventure I highly recommend with 2 waterfalls, coastal rainforests, creeks, seascapes & some of the best wild coastline in lower 48!

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

backpacking
11 months ago

This was an incredible adventure. We could have finished in two days, but we were uncertain about tide issues and frankly just wanted one more day! We started at Oil City and had Lori from Roadrunner Shuttle pick up our car. She stashed it at her house and delivered it to third beach TH Sunday morning. Call them! Reasonable and fantastic to work with!! We had never tried anything like this before and were a little nervous. A couple of the trail head markers were hard to find( Jefferson cove, and Taylors Point) there are really two important places where the tides determine if you stay or go and that’s at Oil city and Taylors pt. We were able to rent a bear van at Forks Outfitters ($65deposit and $2 daily) and register and pay for our permit at the trail head($8 per night per person) this was a fantastic hike. Good water at Mosquito creek, Toleak, Scott’s bluff, Third beach and the up and over between mosquito and toleak. Bring a filter, iodine doesn’t help this water. We actually saw zero people from thursdsy until Saturday!! Camping totally alone on mosquito beach! Saw baldies, deer, dead whale, various critters and a lone llama!! Do this hike! It’s so perfect. We also really enjoyed Mary Jane Organic trail pouches. Pasta and bare burrito were faves. Get out there!!

backpacking
Sunday, May 13, 2018

Just amazing.

backpacking
Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Absolutely gorgeous backpacking trip. My son and I hiked from la push road/3rd beach south and back, spending 3 nights camping on the beach. Left our rental car there along La Push roadside with no problems. Its just an amazing coastline. Very humid so a campfire feels great to dry out by every evening. One of the most relaxing hikes we have undertaken. The overland passes with ropes/ladders were fun, and the variety of beach plus maritime forest made for interesting days. We opted for hammock camping on this one instead of our tent and that was a great choice. Saw very little if any wildlife but the tidal pools and scenery made up for it.

backpacking
Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Olympic National Park coastal trails are magical, simply put. The trail was dry this day in Sept, but would have been more challenging when wet. Saw harbor seals, whale bones. No raccoons or larger wildlife. Know the tide restrictions and time your hike accordingly. The hike through the forest around hoh head takes longer than you might think considering down trees and many ups and downs. Give yourself plenty of time.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

What a beautiful trail! Started around 8 pm at third beach camped on the beach the first night. Then hiked to Toleak point the next morning. What an excited hike, climbing up ropes and ladders walking along side the beach was amazing! Camped at Toleak the next night. Full of life I saw dear raccoons, 20-25 bald eagles, and seals with pups. The tide pools are the best I've ever seen! It was so great I stayed another night. Hiked out the next morning some of the same rope climbs and ladders. Only thing is check the Tides don't want to be stuck on the rocks when the tide comes! I Highly recommend this trail it was Dope!

backpacking
Saturday, June 03, 2017

Great trip. From Hoh river to La Push during 3 days (2 nights). Mosquito creek was easy to cross, and it was crossable at high tide very easily too.

camping
Monday, June 01, 2015

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.

hiking
Friday, May 09, 2014

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.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The whole coast is beautiful and would recommend all of the trails

camping
Monday, April 14, 2014

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. Advice: 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.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

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.

hiking
Wednesday, May 29, 2013

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.

camping
Monday, October 25, 2010

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.

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26 days ago

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