- Travel and Places»
- Visiting North America
My Favorite Washington Beach
Kalaloch is one of my favorite beaches. My parents used to take us there every summer, and I remember quite a few good times. I had the chance to visit Kalaloch last year, and it has changed over the years. It is still an excellent vacation destination. If you live in Western Washington, it makes a great getaway for a few days; if you live outside of Washington, you might want to visit Kalaloch in conjunction with a few other places in the area.
Kalaloch is a part of Olympic National Park. It is a little out of the way though, so expect to spend some time getting there. Most people are going to want to get there by driving to Aberdeen. From there, you take the 101 North for a very long time (at least an hour). You'll drive through the forest for a very long time, and when you finally hit Queets, you're almost there. From there, you'll start to get close to the ocean, and will enter Olympic National Park. Start looking for Kalaloch signs.
What's So Great About Kalaloch?
There are a lot of beaches in the world, so why did I choose to take my kids to Kalaloch, and not Ocean Shores? We did actually go to Ocean Shores, but that was for the fourth of July. Kalaloch has a lot going for it that Ocean Shores does not.
First, it is farther away from everything. That has its downside, but there are good things about it too. Because it is more remote, there are fewer people there. It is still pretty popular, but there are fewer places that you can stay. Most of the people that go there clean up after themselves; there is less litter desecrating the beaches. Plus, if you're looking for a quiet afternoon on the beach, you're more able to find it here.
Second, the waves are more spectacular. There are more rocks, and the tide is stronger. If you want to go swimming in the ocean, I would suggest Ocean Shores. If you want to see some spectacular displays of nature's power, you can see it better here. There are giant logs at almost every beach. People didn't put them there. They wash up on the shore during the winter season.
Hiking Olympic National Park
I can't say enough good things about Olympic National Park. I just love going there. Even though I live in Arizona, if I am in Washington during camping season, I always like to take a trip there. Kalaloch can be difficult to get to (it's so hard to get to it's really not a day-trip type of place), but it's not the only great place to go to at Olympic National Park. There are hikes you can take from Kalaloch, but there are so many other places you can hike in the area. You could spend a whole summer hiking Olympic National Park.
Find out more about the hikes you can take from Kalaloch (as well as other places in Olympic National Park).
Camping: Kalaloch Beach
The most popular place to camp at Kalaloch is Kalaloch campground. There are 170 spaces, and they cost $14 to $18 a night. It has potable water and flush toilets. There are ranger programs you can attend in the evenings, and anyone can earn a Junior Ranger badge (even adults, I have one). Spaces fill up quickly during the summer, so you'll want to make a reservation at reservation.gov. When reserving a spot, you'll have to pay in advance.
You might find a walk-in space, but there are very few of them, and they will fill up quickly, especially during the weekends.
Camping: South Beach
If Kalaloch Beach fills up, the next best spot to try is South Beach. This is where I've done the majority of Kalaloch camping. South Beach used to be a giant open field where you just parked and set up a tent; that has changed. There are now fire pits and numbered camping spaces, which takes away a lot from what South Beach used to be. Still, it is a great place to stay, especially if Kalaloch is full.
There are 50 spots at South Beach, and it costs $10 a night to stay there. It does fill up. On my last trip to South Beach, there were only a few spaces left, and I got there on a Tuesday when the weather was not very good.
South Beach is only open from Memorial Day weekend until the middle of September.
The beach is pretty good here. I think that I like the beach better here than at South Beach (but not as much as I like Beach 4).
Roughing it not your thing? You might want to stay at the Kalaloch Lodge instead. Even if you like camping, that might be the better choice if you're staying in the winter and don't have a travel trailer to stay in.
There are 64 rooms. Kalaloch Lodge has a web site that you can visit. If you want to make a reservation, you can call 1-866-875-8456, or book online.
I've never been there, so I can't tell you whether it's good or not.
Kalaloch Gets Cold!
This was taken from Kalaloch lodge (which I've never been to). It was probably taken during the winter, but the weather isn't always great during the summer either!
If you're going to go camping, you'll want to make sure that you take the things that you need. On my last trip to Kalaloch, I did take a tent, food, pan, drinks, and clothes, but I forgot to bring metal cooking utensils. So I thought to myself, "how would they cook on Survivor?" So I found a stick and cooked with it. I know I'm not the first person to forget metal cooking utensils; some of my relatives have talked about cooking with melting plastic forks.
Other things that you should remember when you're camping include sleeping bags or something to sleep in. It can get cold at Kalaloch, even in the summer. You'll probably want to bring a lamp, flashlight, or both.
If you forget something, there is a small store that sells some items, including lantern mantles (I broke mine, so I had to stop there and get one). The best bet is to bring everything before you get there though.
While you're at Kalaloch, you'll want to take some time to go to Beach 4 during low tide. Beach 4 is a great place to visit to see the tide pools. They will cover up with water during high tide, so time your trip. You can't camp at Beach 4, so you'll have to drive there (or possibly bike there).
To get to Beach 4, you'll have to walk down a fairly steep slope. It's worth it though, because the tide pools can be amazing. You can see all sorts of animals. Plus, watching the waves crash against the rocks can be pretty cool too. This is definitely a place to see if you're going to camp at Kalaloch.
Day Hikes at Kalaloch
Kalaloch is located in a Rain Forest. This is why the weather can be so foggy at times. While many people go to Kalaloch to see the beach, you can hike in the Rain Forest from Kalaloch as well.
I took my kids on a guided day hike in the Rain Forest, and we saw the "Tree of Wow". There are other great things that you can see in the rain forest while you are out.
Hikes start right from the Kalaloch campground. You'll have to cross the street, but after you do, there is plenty of hiking that you can do.