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Cape Alava

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nepa
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Cape Alava

Hi folks, we're headed to the Olympic National Park the first week of March and exploring the Forks/Neah Bay area. We'd like to see the sunset from Cape Alava, but doing the 3 mile hike is probably not on the agenda due to time and skill level in our group. Plus, we won't have camping gear, and not a fan of walking back after sunset. Is there anyplace nearby that would be great to see the sunset if we aren't able to do the hike? Either by car, or easy walking trail? Hoping to reach the "most westernmost" point, but I may have to settle for something nearby instead. Any ideas are appreciated. Thanks!

Amsterdam, The...
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for Olympic National Park, Port Townsend
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1. Re: Cape Alava

La Push (1st Beach) or Ruby Beach. There's likely to be a bit of scrambling over large drift wood at Ruby.

Port Angeles, WA
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2. Re: Cape Alava

As I recall from last visit, you shouldn't have to scramble at Ruby; they tend to keep access pretty clear. However, if you go to Second Beach, you would need to climb a huge pile of driftwood. I would suggest Rialto Beach. It has easy access as you can drive right to the beach. You are wise to skip Cape Alava. It takes 1 hour and 20 minutes just to hike down to the beach. The Sand Pt. loop is one of the best day hikes in the park, but you must time it with the tides, and you definitely don't want to tackle any part of it after dark. Enjoy your visit to this gorgeous park.

nepa
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3. Re: Cape Alava

Thanks for the suggestions! This really helps! Rialto Beach was actually on our list of possibilities. I'm not familiar with the area, but realize that points of interest are quite a drive between each other with only Highway 101 as the route, so I'm sort of trying to steer the other members of our group from trying to see 'too much. ' Thanks to this board and other sites, I've been able to describe it better.

We're leaving the Tacoma area around 8 am., going to Port Angeles first, probably just to stop for lunch. Then onto Cape Flattery and hopefully Rialto Beach. I also realize that sunsets are probably rare, so I'm not getting my hopes up!

Staying at Forks Motel. We aren't Twilighters, we're just using it as a place to sleep, then the next morning doing the Hall of Mosses Trail in the Hoh Rainforest. (I know the visitor center there is closed, but hopefully the trail will still be accessible.) Then back home.

If any of this sounds logistically impossible let me know. I think everyone is OK with the drives, but we just want to have enough time to explore the coast and experience the gorgeous scenery. Maybe stop for a bite to eat, but I also know that there isn't much, so we plan to have snacks and drinks in the car.

Thanks again for the help!

Poulsbo, Washington
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for Olympic National Park
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4. Re: Cape Alava

Actually depending on where you are at that time, Three Rivers Resort on the way to Rialto has good burgers and shakes. There is some driftwood to cross at Ruby, but not a lot. Stick with Rialto, it is gorgeous. Trails can be pretty sloppy in March. The Boardwalk at Ozette can also be very slick when its wet. The Forks Motel is fine I have stayed there many times. Cape Flattery is very dramatic, but keep in mind it is a long drive for a view! Personally I would consider driving to the end of the SolDuc Valley Road to the end and walking the .9 of a mile to Beautiful Sol Duc Falls. Especially if the weather is bad, instead of driving all the way to Neah Bay. Togas which you will pass by on your way out of PA is quite good for lunch!

Port Angeles, WA
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5. Re: Cape Alava

All of Glaciermeadow's suggestions are great. Neah Bay is beautiful, but not more beautiful than Rialto Beach, which is much closer to your base. You can hike for hours on Rialto Beach if you like. Sol Duc Falls is wonderful, and the last time I was there, which was November, there were elk along the roadside.

You sound refreshingly realistic about both the joys and the challenges of visiting ONP.

nepa
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6. Re: Cape Alava

I try to learn as much as I can before I get to a place. I do love "getting lost", and have been on many trips where great things happen with no plan. But I've also sat in the backseat of a car for hours upon end hearing the driver say, "let's just see what's up here." Ultimately that ends up in people being annoyed, car-tired and bored! I've traveled and hiked parts of the coast of Maine with not so much as a map or a cell phone and it was fantastic. This time around, it's different people, and different expectations from co-travelers, so I want to be realistic.

It's great to have a back up plan in case of weather, so I want to have a few options. The Sol Duc Falls sound amazing. It definitely makes sense to be nearer to the base, so that's definitely a possibility.

The suggestions have been great, and very helpful. Thanks again!

7. Re: Cape Alava

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