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Toleak Point Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Toliak Point (Jerry Adams)
Trails off the beach are marked with circular signs. Typical ladder to help go up cliff(Jerry Adams)
Toilets don't offer a lot of privacy. (Jerry Adams)
  • Start point: Third Beach TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Toleak Point
  • Trail log: Trail Log
  • Distance: 12 miles round trip
  • Elevation gain: 1200 feet
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Seasons: year round
  • Family Friendly: No
  • Backpackable: Yes
  • Crowded: Yes, in the summer and early fall

Contents

Hike Description

There are about 50 miles of wilderness ocean beach in Olympic National Park, unique in the mainland United States. There are beaches, heads that are difficult to get around, rocks off the beach, and lots of wildlife. You should have the area mostly to yourself, except at Third Beach. Definitely, there are no motors or tourist shops.

Several possible hikes include:

  • Sand Point Cape Alava Hike the loop from the Ozette Trailhead to Sand Point and Cape Alava is one of the most popular hikes in the area (too many people summer weekends?). You can do it as a day hike, or a backpack.
  • Ozette to Rialto Beach Hike 20 mile beach hike, multi day backpack, requiring a car shuttle. After you get a few miles from the trailheads, much less busy.
  • Toleak Point Hike - an out and back hike along the beach with trails around heads that can be challenging
  • Third Beach to Oil City - another multi day backpack requiring a car shuttle. As of April 2008, the trail is washed out at Hoh Head making this hike impassable.
  • Shi Shi to Ozette - another multi day backpack requiring a car shuttle


At Toleak Point, there is a section of beach almost three miles that can be walked at any tide. You're far enough away from any trailhead that there aren't too many people. During summer weekends, it may get pretty busy. There is a half mile stretch, north of Toleak Point, with a number of campsites in the trees right off the beach.

You need to get permits for hiking everywhere - $25 for 7 days National Park fee, $5 camping fee, $2 per night per person camping fee. You need reservations for camping in the Sand Point or Cape Alava areas May 1 to September 30.

You need a hard sided container (for example, Bear Vault) if you're camping. This is to prevent raccoon and bear problems. There are so many people using this area that if they don't have this regulation then they would have pest problems. The ranger said there have been no cases of bears or cougars injuring humans (except hunters cornering bears - justice?) but they are around. They also have permanent bear wires, which seems redundant.

See current tide table for the current tide table.

Detailed Description

The Toleak Point Hike starts at the Third Beach trailhead. There is one trail, well signed, to Third Beach and Toleak Point.

The trail to Third Beach is a pretty easy gravel trail, a little muddy at places. It's 1.3 miles to the beach. You lose about 300 feet elevation, most of which is in the last 0.2 miles. The last little bit, getting onto the beach is a little difficult, crossing huge driftwood logs.

Third Beach (the third beach from La Push) is about one mile of sandy beach. This would make an easy day hike. There are often quite a few people here. The crowds thin out beyond. There's a stream for drinking water and a couple places to camp right where the trail meets the beach.

Drinking water streams have a lot of tannin - a brownish color from decayed leaves. The water is safe to drink, even with the brownish color, but there's a bit of an off taste. Water filters don't remove the color or taste, but are advised to make the water safe to drink.

There are two trails that go around heads between Third Beach and Toleak Point. At mile 1.7 (from the trailhead) is the north end of the Taylor Trail. At mile 2.9 is the south end. At mile 3.4 is the north end of the Scott Trail. At mile 3.7 is the south end. Getting off the beach is difficult. There are "ladders" with steel cables and wooden steps, and conventional wooden steps. Right off the beach, there are steep muddy slopes with a rope to hold on. Once you get off the beach there are numerous muddy stretches. After a lot of rain, these trails are very difficult.

Third Beach and the beach between the Taylor and Scott trails, are each wide enough to pass even on a high tide.

At the south end of the Scott Trail, at mile 3.7, is a camping area and Scott Creek (drinking water). There is a pit toilet, just off the trail, just before the trail reaches the beach. There's also a campsite next to it. There's another campsite on the other side of Scott Creek. This is as of April 2008. A while ago, there were more campsites, but they were washed away by the ocean. You can camp on the beach, but there's a risk that a large wave could wash over you.

Continuing south on the beach past Scott Creek, from mile 3.7 to 4.2 is a rocky stretch that can best be passed in the three hours either way from low tide (i.e. half the time). Right at mile 3.7 is a spot where at high tide, you would have to go waist deep to get around it, but there's a bypass trail that isn't too bad that avoids it. Just look around for an obvious trail, but it's not marked. The next 0.5 miles is difficult at high tide. There isn't much beach, and there are trees to walk over. Much easier within 3 hours of low tide.

At mile 4.9 is Strawberry Point. There are camping spots around, but no toilet and probably no drinking water.

At mile 6 is Toleak Point, the end point of this hike. In the half mile before Toleak Point are a number of campsites in the trees, just off the beach. There is a pit toilet 0.2 miles north of Toleak Point. There is a drinking water stream 0.2 miles south of Toleak Point. Just before the stream, a trail goes up to a "shelter", to be used only in an emergency. It's pretty dilapidated, but would offer some shelter in bad weather.

You can go another mile south, on a beach, to the next trail that goes inland around a head.

Alternate Trailhead

An alternate trailhead is to go 0.9 miles past the Bogachiel River, turn left on unmarked gravel road, and go 1.5 miles to it's end. This goes through Washington Department of Natural Resources land. There may be some logging going on so watch out for log trucks. The road isn't too bad for a gravel road.

I asked the Olympic National Park people about this and they didn't say you couldn't do it, but they didn't seem enthusiastic. I ran into a federal employee that was carrying trash. I heard about this from someone I talked to at Toleak Point that had done this for years.

Then there's a trail 1.7 miles to the Scott Trail around Scott head. This trail isn't as bad as the North end of the Taylor Trail and the North end of the Scott Trail.

Shortcut to Toliak Point (Jerry Adams)

Maps

Fees, Regulations, etc.

There is a $25 National Park fee (for 7 days) that you have to pay in the parking lot.

There is a $5 camping fee plus $2 per day per person that you have to pay at the ranger station a short distance from the parking area.

Dogs are not allowed here, sorry.

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Guidebooks that cover this hike

More Links

More Information

Port Angeles Visitor Center (360) 565-3100

Forks Visitor Center (360) 374-7566

shuttle service

Contributors

Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.