CAR CAMPING the WASHINGTON COAST
Our goals were to get to to tippiest top of the Washington coast, which meant we were heading to Cape Flattery.
You take the 101 to the 113 to the 112 to get all the way up there. Unfortunately, once we got there, the road was actually closed due to a ‘critical incident’ (said the officer). Can’t win them all!
If you do get the chance to go up there, I would recommend trying to do the Cape Flattery Trail which is supposed to be a short hike which some BREATHTAKING views at the end! Explore it for us!
You can find it on All Trails here:
Shi Shi Beach
Since our first plan was a bust, we decided to head to Shi Shi Beach – the beach directly below Cape Flattery.
We went south and got drove around the Makab Indian Reservation and Neah Bay.
We got to the trailhead for Shi Shi Beach– a 2 mile hike to get to one way, so make sure you have a good chunk of time to do it!
(** if you don’t see any pictures below, click in white space to bring up the gallery – tech issues, sorrrry! 🙈)
When we got to the beach it was pretty much empty & lots of cool areas to explore! We climbed over this rock structure to get to the beach on the other side. There, we found a starfish on a rock, lots of driftwood, and a cute little crab!
There is also a rope tied to the rock that would allow you to get to the top, if you are feeling adventurous 😉 We were not feeling brave at the time.
Free Camping we found:
- We happened to find a pull out near Beaver Lake on the 113, near intersection of 113 and 112. It had a picnic table, a fire ring, & no signs saying not to camp there! Saaaweeeeet. (no bathrooms, but Bear Creek Campground is close and had some)
For a comprehensive guide on how to find more free RV camping or car camping spots for yourself – click HERE 😊 Happy camping!
The next day was rainy, so we mostly covered ground and didn’t do any long hikes. We first headed to La Push.
La Push is actually three separate beaches, which they cleverly named – #1, #2, and #3. La Push Beach #1 is the only beach that you can drive to, so we went to this one.
These beaches are part of the Quileute Indian Reservation as well. There were lots of rocks and driftwood and wildness. Loved being back to the ocean baby.
After this, we drove down the 101 and pulled off at cool beach spots to walk around.
We drove through the infamous Forks, WA, where the Twilight movies were filmed. Which also looked as dreary and gray as it does in the movies. But actually had some cool beach access points!
Lots of crazy huge driftwood, logs, smooth rocks, and a super low tide.
**** TIP: Try to jump on the 105 to get to the coast earlier in Washington state than the 101. We realized we could have done this after we already drove too far south. See as much as that coast as you can, babay!
Our last big exploration of the Washington coast was…
Cape Disappointment State Park
We decided to be lazy, not stress about camping for free, and payed to sleep at Clark’s Campground in the state park.
- Self register by phone & pay by card at the entrance of the campground
- Ranger said we had to pay $30 ( $20 for tent spot & $10 for a one day Discovery Pass)
- A Discovery Pass is supposed to be required at all Washington state parks. We knew we couldn’t get to Olympic National Park because of the weather, so didn’t plan on buying one. But if seeing many parks, may save you money to buy it!
- A very cool spot to camp near the beach, even in the rain!
- Bathrooms were free at the time due to vandalism (yay?), but are usually coin operated. Not the warmest of showers, but free & needed, so thank you!
The campsites that were closest to the ocean were all blocked off, but we got one pretty close #111. We walked around where it was closed off and viewed all the wreckage made by the storms.
It was pretty crazy. This is where I first had the thought of the ‘scary respect’ that I have for Mother Nature. And the ocean for that matter.
We humans think we have it all under control – but, let’s be real – if Pachamama wanted it, we could all be destroyed in an instant. Ponyboy said the wreckage kind of reminded him of Hurricane Sandy that hit New Jersey hard in 2011.
Before leaving the state park, we drove to Cape Disappointment Lighthouse.
The trail to the lighthouse was only .5 miles and was a beautiful sight even in the rain. The coast guard is also up there doing coast-guardy things.
The North Lighthouse may also be worth checking out, as the trail is only .25 miles, and it has free bathrooms! (yay!)
Wish we could have explored Washington more, but due to weather and timing, our coastal exploring was limited.
Hope you get to experience more & find some magic! 🌲🌊
And if you want to take charge of your life & plan your own long-term travel dream trip, then CLICK HERE