Our Life in the Pacific Northwest

Rialto Beach Hike, Extreme Low Tide – Day 2

Rialto Beach, Olympic National Park

Hole in the Wall Hike

Northwest Washington Coast                                          Day 2

 As soon as it was light I  got up and walked to the beach to watch the tide begin to go out.  I skipped breakfast since I was so eager to get to Hole in the Wall and again, it was another incredible experience for me. I saw a couple of early morning hikers and I watched the surf  gradually lowering to reveal tons of rocks that weren’t there the day before. My hiking companions decided to sleep in since we didn’t get much rest during the night. So once again I was on my own to explore this amazing place at such an incredible low tide. The sun was coming up creating beautiful colors and the beach had a touch of early morning fog. It was going to be a perfect day!

As I started my walk I could see tons of multicolored Ochre Sea Stars clinging to the rocks. They were deep shades of orange, purple and brown and are commonly found on rocky beaches from California to Alaska. The vibrant colors make for beautiful photographs.

As I approached Hole in the Wall I noticed a couple of people exploring the tide pools. I knew there would be tons of people arriving soon so this was the best time to do my own exploring and take my photographs without people getting in the way. I also felt a little disapointed that my friend and my sister weren’t there to share in the  experience. I had also planned on someone taking my photo while standing in the arch. I guess it will have to be next time.

It was a pretty good feeling as I walked through Hole in the Wall. It was more than I expected and being there for such a low tide was amazing. I stood there in the arch imagining how many years it took for the water to carve such a large, perfect hole.


 I walked up the beach to do more tide pooling still looking for my “starfish rock” which, unfortunately I never found. The tide was out extremely far at this point so I walked carefully on the slippery rocks as far out as I could go. There were many people tide pooling and climbing the rocks by this time and as I looked around it struck me as to why I love low tides, hiking and adventuring. I find it to be very accomplishing and exciting to be somewhere incredible and having the amazing experiences that many people will never get the chance to have. I’m sure lots of people have seen low tide at Rialto Beach but extreme low tides only happen a few times a year.


I use an online tide table, Saltwater Tides. It’s pretty easy to use and it lists all the regions of Washington State. The lowest days I have seen for 2011 are:

 May 2011

18 Low   8:04 AM    -2.3

19      Low   8:50 AM    -2.2

June 2011 

15      Low   7:05 AM    -2.2

16      Low   7:50 AM    -2.3

17      Low   8:33 AM    -2.1


Of course you should check for yourself before making any plans. I chose James Island as the “sub-region”, you can also use La Push, Quillayute River.

So if you are at Rialto Beach on any of those days I mentioned look for me. I’ll be the one with the camera.  🙂




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5 thoughts on “Rialto Beach Hike, Extreme Low Tide – Day 2

  1. I saw your photo (the very top one) on one of wordpress pages. Beautiful shot! My husband and I have always wanted to explore the coast of Washington. Any tips as far as the best season to go? And where is your favorite camp spot?


  2. Hi Desiree,
    Late spring, summer, early fall are the best times to head to the coast unless you want to storm watch. 🙂 As for camping I’ve heard that Mora Campground near Rialto is pretty nice and very accessible to the beaches. If you want a short overnight hike, Rialto is my favorite. Let me know how it went if you do get a chance to visit. 🙂


  3. Chris B. on said:


    I came upon your site quite by accident and I felt completely compelled to write you.
    The incredible photos you shared are the exact images I’ve held in my minds eye for many years. For as long as I can remember I’ve been captivated by that ancient coast. The thought of thousands of years of human eyes gazing upon those shores has placed within me a longing to be there unlike anything I’ve ever felt. It’s as if millions of long dead voices who once lived along those shores are screaming accross the continent for me to join them (I live in Indiana). The ever-present draw and pull on my soul to those shores place within me the thought that I belong there. That I have ALWAYS belonged there- though ten thousand years ago, when mankinds relationship with nature was pure and unspoiled.

    I had a quick taste of the Pacific Northwest in 1995 when my then-wife & I vacationed there. I walked to the shoreline west of Olympia nat’l forest, placed my finger in the water, then tasted the saltyness. For the first time in my life I felt home geographically.

    Anyway, thank you so much for sharing your experiences and the beautiful photos. Because of your love and reverence of the area I was able to share personal thoughts that not many of my friends know about me….because I know you understand.

    God bless.

    Chris B.


  4. Simply wonderfull!!! May i use sames fotos for my site: italiamica.net? Thank’s


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