This was another trip my friend Jake, a long-time peninsula dweller and fellow adventurer recommended. Did he forget I wasn’t 20? After reviewing the details of the hike, especially being such a newbie to coastal hiking, I elected to day hike this section knowing I most likely wouldn’t make it all the way to Strawberry or Toleak Points but knew I’d develop some new skills while having a grand adventure. Bonus: I’d get to hike another section of the Pacific Northwest Trail (PNT).
Taylor Point, which requires overland travel, has a freshwater creek that drops as a waterfall into the surf. With this being just past low tide, it’s easy to see why the point can’t be safely rounded.
Obstacle #2 – climb this rope to begin the Taylor Point overland hike. I was so glad to not have my overnight pack. Since I solo hike frequently, my rule is to never go up something I can’t get back down and visa versa, I never go down something I can’t get back up. Although I felt fairly confident about getting back down, I worried the rest of my hike and was extremely thankful for dry conditions. I don’t think I would have tackled this when wet and muddy.
Welcome! but remember high tides are not your friend.
Obstacle #4 would have been climbing this rope to hike the overland route of Scotts Bluff. But given my time constraints and seeing the rope (and still being a bit concerned about getting back down the ladder and ropes on Taylor Point) I knew Scotts Bluff, Strawberry and Toleak Points would have to wait for another day. I met this young couple, Cole and Elizabeth, after they descended. What an exciting life they are living; they plan to visit 59 national parks in a year. Check out their Switchback Kids website.
On my return trip, while up on Taylor Point, I saw these two guys walking toward the waterfalls. Later we met on the beach and they wondered if they would make it around the small headland that led to the pocket beach. They were told by the ranger most likely not.
Date Hiked: 5/9/16
Road Trip Day #80
- Third Beach Trail – NPS
- Third Beach Trail – Washington Trail Association
- Map – NPS Olympic Wilderness Trip Planner (free from Visitor Center)
- Trail Guide – Olympic National Park & Vicinity by Douglas Lorain
- Map – USFS Olympic Peninsula 2014 edition
- Barefoot Jake (lots of local trail intel and amazing photography)
- The NP campground at Mora provides for convenient overnight car camping. It’s a $20 per night, no-reservation CG. There are a couple other nearby options if this is full.
- If you want to camp on trail, you’ll need a permit. You can either stop at the NP Information Center in Forks where I believe you can obtain the required bear canisters (for the raccoons). Be sure to ask for the Wilderness Trip Planner map as it shows the campsites, impassible headlands, low tide passage areas, and fresh water locations. They will also provide you with a Tide Chart and explain how it works for the area you’ll be visiting. Note: I was told fresh water must be boiled or filtered, that chemicals will not work sufficiently (to kill a bacteria?).
- The tide maps are available from the Visitor Center and are posted at most trailheads and ranger stations. If unfamiliar, take time to learn how to read. (link)
- According to my Trimble Outdoor Navigator Map, this was a 8+ mile round trip, 2,000′ elevation gain/loss hike.
- Nearest resupply is Forks.
- Link to my other jaunts in Washington