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 Post subject: Backpacking 3rd beach, Olympic NP, in really bad weather
 Post Posted: February 4th, 2018, 7:04 pm 
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Joined: March 7th, 2014, 5:33 pm
Posts: 65


I went on this trip last year, but it took until now to get the story written and the photos and video edited. The wilderness coast of Olympic National Park is a crazy place to be during a winter storm! For some reason though, I've developed a strange affection for backpacking there during truly terrible weather conditions. There's just something about experiencing this incredibly wild place at its most primal that brings me back again and again despite how miserable every trip turns out to be!

I've posted the full trip report on my blog:
http://illuminationsfromtheattic.blogspot.com/2018/02/winter-camping-on-wild-olympic-coast.html


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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking 3rd beach, Olympic NP, in really bad weather
 Post Posted: February 5th, 2018, 7:42 am 
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Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
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I was there for a few days in December

There was no rain. I think that's better :)

I remember once when I was using one of those ropes to get onto the beach, and it was so muddy it sucked my boot off. Fortunately I was able to just put my foot back in and continue.

Now I avoid all those ropes and ladders and use the user trail - drive back 1.5 miles from the trailhead, drive 1.5 miles on gravel road to where it's closed. Continue on the trail on foot, turns into a trail, a couple miles to the regular trail, another couple miles to Toleak Point.


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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking 3rd beach, Olympic NP, in really bad weather
 Post Posted: February 5th, 2018, 9:25 am 
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retired jerry wrote:
I was there for a few days in December

There was no rain. I think that's better :)

I remember once when I was using one of those ropes to get onto the beach, and it was so muddy it sucked my boot off. Fortunately I was able to just put my foot back in and continue.

Now I avoid all those ropes and ladders and use the user trail - drive back 1.5 miles from the trailhead, drive 1.5 miles on gravel road to where it's closed. Continue on the trail on foot, turns into a trail, a couple miles to the regular trail, another couple miles to Toleak Point.


I've got to admit that I do prefer backpacking without gobs of rain!

I actually really enjoyed climbing the ropes and ladders, they made it feel like a real adventure! That said, thanks for the tip! Though I'm glad I did it the hard way once, I'd be happy to take advantage of a short cut next time.


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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking 3rd beach, Olympic NP, in really bad weather
 Post Posted: February 5th, 2018, 10:02 am 
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Yeah, I've done lots of good trips when it was raining :)

That shortcut has some difficult spots, but nowhere as bad as the ropes.

I asked the Park Service about it and they said you still have to get a permit (at Third Beach Trailhead). They didn't recommend it, but they didn't forbid it. There isn't a lot of parking. It would be chaos if everyone that went to Third Beach trailhead did this instead.


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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking 3rd beach, Olympic NP, in really bad weather
 Post Posted: February 5th, 2018, 12:31 pm 
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My biggest concern with that approach would be leaving my car overnight on the logging road. However, thinking about it, the main trailhead might actually be less safe since it's a more obvious target for crime.


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