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Traveling around La Push area plus other questions!

western pennsylvania
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Traveling around La Push area plus other questions!

Hello!

Hubby and I plan on flying into Seattle and touring up the coast. Yahoo maps is taking us all the way "up and around " Port Angeles and then south. Looks way too far. I was thinking SEA airport then to Olympia, then heading west to the coast. Sound OK? How r the roads?

Hubby is not that mobile due to bad knees so I was wondering if we can experience all the beach areas (Not Ocean Shores) that are north of there? Dont want to climb down rocks to get to the beach areas.

Also, Im reading that these areas are very remote and need to know about hospital facilities in those areas. (He has a form of leukemia). We want to experience all the Pacific coast has but Im worried a bit about being "too remote"

Thanks for any help.

Davie, Florida
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1. Re: Traveling around La Push area plus other questions!

there are 2 community hospitals in Aberdeen, WA. Generally the Oregon coast is preferred because it is more spectacular. There are places along the southern Washington coast you can literally drive on the beach.

Renton, WA
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2. Re: Traveling around La Push area plus other questions!

I like your plan insofar as going out to the coast via Olympia is concerned, but a quick peek at a map shows that most of the trip north of the Aberdeen/Hoquiam area is inland, not along the beach. Kalaloch is a nice place to stop, but it is on a bluff above the beach....just what you wanted to avoid. I think you have the beaches in the LaPush/Forks area in mind, but IMHO the drive to get there is just plain boring.

Katzgar has it right....forget about the north coast of Washington and go down to Oregon. Much more knee-friendly (I have two titanium knees).

Renton, WA
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3. Re: Traveling around La Push area plus other questions!

Second thoughts.....

The beaches in the LaPush/Forks area are more readily accessible from the east. Continue through Olympia on the freeway to exit 104 (US 101). Drive up the east side of the Olympic Peninsula; stay on 101 as it turns west toward Port Angeles and the ocean beaches. Much prettier drive than going north on 101 from Aberdeen/Hoquiam, and you won't be missing a whole lot.

Seattle
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4. Re: Traveling around La Push area plus other questions!

It's really 6 of one, half dozen of the other as to which way you go in terms of the length of the drive, and it's more scenic via Port Angeles, so that's how I'd go.

If being remote from hospitals is a concern, why not stay in Port Angeles and do a day trip out to the beaches and the rainforest?

western WA
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5. Re: Traveling around La Push area plus other questions!

I agree with Northwest Wanderer. Port Angeles would make a nice base camp. It is quicker to drive there by way of Seattle/Bainbridge ferry than to Olympia and north on 101.

Rialto Beach at La Push is accessible even with bad knees. At the far end of the parking lot there is a route through the beach logs.

The beaches at Ocean Shores would be easy, as you can drive on them.

Oregon beaches are easy, but it can be a hike out to the actual water. If walking on loose sand is difficult, that might be an issue.

Poulsbo, Washington
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6. Re: Traveling around La Push area plus other questions!

I do not reccommend driving up the Eastside of the Olympics as it will take you a lot longer. The Bainbridge route is the same distsance as driving around via Aberdeen, but it is not a scenic as mentioned. I also agree that the Oregon Coast is for the most part more scenic, the Olympic Coast is wilder. Port Angeles has a hospital and Forks has a rural clinic is is open durring the day. And Unfortunately cars are allowed on the beaches to the South. Thank God not further north. Again the driving times going north via ferry or south via Aberdeen are about the same. The southern route is four lane Highway untill you get close to Aberdeen. Then two lane. Northern route is mostly two lane with some stretches of 4 lane.

Renton, WA
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7. Re: Traveling around La Push area plus other questions!

glaciermeadows, I think that you are ignoring the long inland stretch between Hoquiam and Queets. The clockwise trip might be shorter, but it sure isn't more scenic, and hitting the LaPush area from the east gives easy access to the beaches.

Poulsbo, Washington
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8. Re: Traveling around La Push area plus other questions!

Bob

Since they are talking about touring the coast and not being remote, why would you send them to Olympia and then a long slow drive up the Eastside of the Peninsula.

Sorry I reread my response and what I was trying to say was that going by way of Aberdeen was not as scenic as going the northern route via Bainbridge.

Bellevue, WA
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9. Re: Traveling around La Push area plus other questions!

Just north of Ocean Shores is the "North Beach", comprising the towns of Copalis Beach, the new purpose-built resort town Seabrook, Pacific Beach, Moclips, and the Quinault Indian Nation. This is a prettier area than Ocean Shores with a cliff rising up behind the beach, topped by a forest of windswept spruce trees, and a few rivers cutting through to the ocean. The drive along highway 109 is very beautiful from Copalis Beach all the way to Taholah. There's lots of wildlife in the area: sandpipers, seagulls, and eagles are very common. Last year we spotted a whale from the beach.

As mentioned in a previous post, driving is permitted on these beaches. This doesn't mean you are going to be run down - drivers are respectful. It's a hundred year old tradition in Grays Harbor and Pacific counties. Before there were roads, the beach was the road. Beach driving is mentioned in the Washington state driver's manual. There's even an official state airport on the beach at Copalis Beach - the only beach airport in the country. Driving let's a family with small kids or elderly parents reach destinations on the beach. Between April 15 and Labor Day the areas you can drive on are limited.

There are several places the mobility impaired can visit with the North Beach as a base:

The Beach itself - If we are talking about the summer, you can drive onto the beach in three places:

Roosevelt Beach Road between Seabrook and Copalis Beach. You can drive four miles south of here within one mile of Copalis Rock - an isolated seastack rock.

Analyde Gap Road in Pacific Beach through 2nd Street in Moclips - another four mile stretch of beach you can drive on. If you walk one mile north of here, you'll reach the pretty Moclips River.

Seabrook (http://www.seabrookwa.com) - Seabrook has weekend events all summer long open to the public (salmon feeds, ice cream social, doggie parade, etc.). This summer they are building an oceanside $2 million house that will be open for public tours for $10. This house is being featured in Coastal Living magazine (current issue through October).

There are two spectacular sights in the county that are accessible by driving and within easy reach of the North Beach:

Point Grenville - This is little visited and little known for no better reason than that you have to buy a tribal beach pass to see it and the tribe is doing nothing to promote tourism. The pass costs $15 per family for a day. Funds go to the tribal scholarship fund. Drive to Taholah - about 9 miles north of Moclips - to get the pass. You buy the pass on week days at the tribal administration buildings (building A, I think it was) on your right as you enter town on highway 109 or on weekends at the police station on Cuitan Street (turning right from highway 109).

The beach right in Taholah is very beautiful, but a bit rocky to walk out there. Point Grenville is reached by driving south out of town and then turning onto an unmarked dirt road at the base of the hill. You can then drive about three miles north towards the point.

This is a spectacular spot. Everyone telling you to go to Oregon has this kind of place in mind. This is the only volcanic rock formation on the Washington coast. Besides the large rock making up the Point itself, four major seastack rocks lie offshore: on the near side lie picturesque twin rocks with greenery and nesting birds on top. Far out at sea a mile or so is a huge rock wtih an arch down the middle. The last rock can only be seen by clambering over a six foot high rock wall down into a unique volcanic beach set in a natural amphitheater. I've never seen another person here when I've visited. It's best to arrive at low tide, which reveals an extensive reef covered in starfish. You need to walk a ways out on the reef to see the last major offshore rock. You also get a better view of the rock with the arch in it. The north edge of the amphitheater is also marked by an arch. Another half a dozen big, but minor rocks are sprinkled among the reef.

Lake Quinault - This beautiful lake can be reached by a half hour drive from the North Beach. I'd recommend the 31 mile loop drive that goes around the lake and up into the Upper Quinault river valley. Easily accessible along this route would be (starting on the North Shore Road and moving clockwise):

1. July Creek Picnic Area - Best spot for a picnic with a commanding view of the lake. Sloping, short trail to the picnic area - not too steep.

2. the Kestner Homestead and Maple Glade 3/4 mile trail - absolutely flat - that would take you through a very pretty moss-draped rain forest and past a historic homestead.

3. The Big Spruce - Accessible by a 1/8th mile trail from the South Shore Road or I believe you can drive right up to the spruce through the Rain Forest Village Resort. This is a 1,000 year old tree and one of the biggest in the world.

4. Lake Quinault Lodge - Beautiful old timbered lodge with an excellent restaurant and spectacular lakeside location.

There are lots of lodging options in the area: vacation rental homes in Seabrook, Pacific Beach, and Moclips; some inexpensive inns and a B&B in Pacific Beach; and the cliffside Ocean Crest Resort in Moclips.

I've written about the area in my blog:

http://bobspacificbeachhouse.blogspot.com/

western pennsylvania
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10. Re: Traveling around La Push area plus other questions!

Wow, thanks everyone for the information! Has really helped us plan the trip!

Cant wait to see your beautiful part of the country!

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