This page is a Kaleberg report on Rialto Beach, one of our favorite West End beaches. There are more Kaleberg reports on the North Olympic Peninsula.

Lake Crescent Cottage
Rialto Beach

Rialto Beach is one of the easiest beaches to get to on the West End. You can drive right down to the beach. There are bathrooms and picnic tables, and there is plenty of wild, gritty sand beach to explore. The beach is accessible year round, but we always like to explore at low tide, because that's when we can get down to the tide pools.


From route 101 at the Smokehouse restaurant head west on route 110. Turn right onto Mora Road at the Three Rivers Resort and take the road west to the end. You can't miss it. (By the way, Three Rivers is a pretty useful place to stop, with good pie and espresso).

Rialto Beach
Between the Pillars
Rialto Beach
Along the Beach

Rialto Beach is wild, and bounded by tidepools, sea stacks and the Pacific Ocean on the west, and by piles of driftwood, ghost forest, and the green wall to the east.

The light varies with the weather. Some days it is silvery, with flat clouds above; some days it is brilliant and golden. Most days it is a mix of silver and blue with a touch of haze.

Driftwood at Rialto Beach
More Drift Wood at Rialto Beach

About a mile north of the parking area there is a stream to cross. Most people use one of the driftwood logs that span it. We are too cowardly, and have terrible balance, so we go to the mouth of the stream, down by the sea, and wade across.

Another mile north and there are the headlands. At low tide, you can walk the rocks and through the tunnel, The Big Hole, that connects the two beaches, but at high tide, you have to climb into the rainforest and back down again.

View Through The Hole

Jungle View at Rialto Beach

The inland crossing at the north end of Rialto beach takes one up and into the jungle.

Jungle Staircase at Rialto Beach



Already, in June, the stairway is overgrown.

Passages at Rialto Beach

The tidepools are mysterious worlds.

Passages at Rialto Beach

At low tide, much is revealed.

Distant Eagle

Watch the trees for eagles. Bring your binoculars for a better view.

Eagle Closeup

This bald eagle has a friend, a smaller bird, on the branch across from him.

Sea Anemone

The tide pools have sea anemones ...


... and starfish.

Topographic Map of Rialto Beach

This trail map produced using National Geographic's TOPO program

Nuts and Bolts

Kaleberg Notes

  • This is a great West End beach to visit when you don't have the time to drive all the way down to Kalaloch. It is only 1:15 to 1:30 from Port Angeles, and makes a great day trip.
  • Watch out for the sun. Even on gray days make sure you have your high SPF sun blocker on. Also, bring some water if you go on a longer hike. There is water at the parking lot, but the sun and wind can build a powerful thirst.




Panorama of Rialto Beach

This panorama shows Rialto Beach and covers several miles of coastline. You can see a number of the seastacks and headlands. Click on the image for a much larger view. The images used were taken for the Washington State Department of Ecology in 1994 and are available online.

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