Third Beach to Toleak Point, La Push - Mora Beach Trails, Olympic National Park, Washington
Third Beach to Toleak Point - 12.8 miles
La Push - Mora Beach Trails
|Round-Trip Length:||12.8 miles ((distance may vary by route and tide))|
|Start-End Elevation:||265' - 0' (272' max elevation)|
|Elevation Change:||-265' net elevation loss (+1,028' total roundtrip elevation gain)|
Third Beach to Toleak Point - 12.8 Miles Round-Trip
Toleak Point is located 6.4 miles from the Third Beach Trailhead in Olympic National Park. Toleak Point stands between two idyllic beaches that are among the most popular backcountry camping destinations on the Olympic Coast.
Though at first it may seem like an easy jaunt down open beach and short inland trails, the route in fact poses some considerable challenges, particularly for backpackers.
Steep and muddy headland trails must be scaled using ropes and rope ladders (installed and managed by the Park). High tides block passage along some beach segments, which can take hours to recede. Established campsites fill quickly, and improvising new sites requires effort.
Advance planning is essential to a safe and enjoyable trip. See Worth Noting below for additional information:
The trail drops 265' in a lush hemlock-spruce forest to Third Beach (1.35 miles), which spans a lengthy crescent on Strawberry Bay between Teahwhit Head (north), and Taylor Point (south).
Walk south on Third Beach to the first Headland Trail (1.75 miles), which veers up a near-vertical bluff just before reaching the base of a waterfall. The beach tapers quickly past the headland trail; if you reach the waterfall, you've gone too far.
The headland trail climbs steeply using rope and rope-ladders to the bluff, which continues in the forest on a shifting, muddy course. It crests at 272' before dropping ruggedly to the beach just south of Taylor Point (2.8 miles). This final descent is rope-aided.
From here, it's an easy walk at low tide to the next headland trail at Scotts Bluff (3.4 miles); if you arrive at high tide, another rope-aided climb is immediately required to reach dry beach.
It's advisable to locate both headland climbs at Taylor Point before continuing on; these can be difficult to see with fog, and when the tide comes back.
The Scotts Bluff Headland Trail scales a bare bluff wall with rope assistance on the initial climb. It moderates in the forest and drops (no ropes) to Scott Creek Camp (3.7 miles).
Scott Creek Camp is sheltered by the forest on the beach edge, but you can expect thru-traffic in your camp during travel hours. Travel opens south of Scott Creek on a long, scenic beach to Strawberry Point (5.1 miles), which straddles two coves frequented by seals and otter.
Sea stacks and small islands lay just offshore, and attract scores of sea birds and eagles. Some are accessible at low tide, but the possibility of becoming trapped should deter such adventures.
Open beach travel widens to Toleak Point, a short sand spit flanked by two gorgeous coves (6.4 miles). The beach continues .9 miles south of Toleak to the next headland trail.
- N47 53.435 W124 35.963 — 0.0 miles : Third Beach Trailhead on La Push Road
- N47 52.953 W124 35.501 — 1.35 miles : Third Beach entry - exit point
- N47 52.055 W124 34.067 — 1.75 miles : Headland Overland Trail
- N47 52.055 W124 34.067 — 2.8 miles : HOT drops onto beach
- N47 51.799 W124 33.498 — 3.4 miles : Headland Overland Trail
- N47 51.646 W124 33.469 — 3.7 miles : HOT drops to Scott's Creek Camp
- N47 50.764 W124 33.019 — 5.1 miles : Strawberry Point
- N47 50.051 W124 32.474 — 6.4 miles : Toleak Point
- N47 49.908 W124 31.326 — 7.3 miles : Headland Overland Trail
- Always carry - and know how to use - a tide table, topo map, and watch when hiking the Olympic Coast.
- Many points leading to Toleak Point are only passable at low tide - particularly south of Scotts Creek. Passable points on the way out may not be safe on the return, and it's possible to become stranded. Tide tables are available at visitor centers and coastal ranger stations. Red and black symbols mark departure points from the beach on headland overland trails where it's unsafe to continue on the beach.
- Backpackers should plan travel in both directions at low tide - this will help avoid the extra headland climb at Taylor Point. Day hikers should anticipate varying tides, and plan travel accordingly. Understanding tides, time, and daylight management is critical for extended trips on the Olympic Coast.
- Numerous campsites are tucked behind surf logs, and just inside the forest on either side of Strawberry and Toleak points. Arguably the best two sites are located south of Toleak Point, which are close to Jackson Creek and furthest from crowds.
Camping and Backpacking Information
- Permits are required for all overnight stays in Olympic National Park. Contact the Wilderness Information Center (360.565.3100) for backcountry camping reservations, permits, and trail conditions. Visit the WIC: 600 East Park Avenue, Port Angeles, WA 98362.
- There's a $5 per person - per night fee to backcountry camp in Olympic National Park (children under 16 excluded).
- This is a self-registration trailhead, where you will find forms, permits, and pay boxes.
- There are no quotas or required reservations for La Push - Mora area beaches. Campsites are not individually assigned, but are available to permit holders on a first come, first served basis.
- Camp only in established sites, which are located on the forest edge at Scotts Creek, Strawberry Point, and Toleak Point. These sites are generally concealed behind surf log piles, and sometimes informally marked with colorful beach wash-ups.
- Food Storage: Hard-sided containers (such as bear canisters) are required all along the Olympic Coast.
- Campfires: Fires are permitted. Use driftwood only.
- Water: Water is available from coastal streams. This water is typically stained with tannins leached from decaying matter in the forest. Treat or filter all water thoroughly.
- A Washington State Fishing License is not required to fish in Olympic National Park except when fishing in the Pacific Ocean from shore. No license is required to harvest surf smelt.
- A Washington State catch record card is required to fish for salmon or steelhead and they must be accounted for as if caught in state waters. Fishing regulations are specific to site, species, and season. Contact the Park before setting out.
- Recreational fishing in freshwater areas of Olympic National Park is restricted to artificial lures with single, barbless hooks (exceptions may apply).
- The use of seines, traps, drugs, explosives, and nets (except to land a legally hooked fish or dip-net smelt) are prohibited.
Rules and Regulations
- There's a $15 fee to enter Olympic National Park ($30 annual pass).
- Pets are not permitted on trails. Pets are permitted in campgrounds and must be leashed at all times.
Directions to Trailhead
Third Beach Trailhead is located on La Push Road, 11.5 miles west of US 101. La Push Road is located 53 miles from Port Angeles, just as you're entering / leaving the north end of Forks.
Olympic National Park
600 East Park Avenue
Port Angeles, WA 98362-6798
Visitor Information: 360.565.3130
Road & Weather Hotline: 360.565.3131
Wilderness Information Center and Backcountry Permit Office (WIC)
Mora Ranger Station (seasonal)
Hoh Rainforest Visitor Center
Forks Information Station
360.374.7566 or 360.374.5877
Quinault Wilderness Information Office