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Best Spring Hikes Along the Washington Coast

While the Oregon Coast may have much of the attention for being an outdoor recreation area, those in the know understand that the true beauty of the Pacific Coast is found in Washington State. For roughly 157 miles, the Pacific Ocean slams against the Evergreen State, transforming the sandy shores into some of the most scenic hike and vacation destinations in America. From the rocky bluffs at Cape Flattery, down to the out-dated and melodramatically name Cape Disappointment, the return of spring means not just longer daylight hours but also the start of adventures and vacations. Using Seabrook as your camp, explore the best trails along the coast this spring, falling further in love with the coastline of our state. 

The Trails at Seabrook

Considered the best place to live, visit or vacation along the Washington Coast, Seabrook is the ideal basecamp for every Washington Coast adventure. Perfectly placed in the middle of the state’s Pacific Coastline, staying at Seabrook gives you the best location to see the best beaches in the state. In the Spring, the gray skies of winter start to part ways, transforming Seabrook into the can’t miss destination. In April and May, thousands of gray whales migrate north, swimming within a mile of the breaking waves seen from the lodging options at Seabrook. With breathtaking views, miles of trails to hike both in the forest and along the beach, and incredible dining and drink options, a stay at Seabrook will whet your appetite for further coastal hiking adventures. 

The Mouth of the Copalis River

Just seven miles south of Seabrook sits the little town of Copalis, where Griffith-Priday State Park awaits your coastal adventure. In the spring months, the beach at Griffith-Priday comes alive with shorebird migrations and whale sightings, clam digs and dog-friendly hiking. The park, which has four miles of trails through the dunes and along the beach, is a great place to find sand-dollars, see eagles and shorebirds, and even explore the mouth of the majestic Copalis River where it meets the Pacific Ocean. A Washington State Discover Pass is needed to explore here, but the cost is well worth the endless wanderings along the sandy shores you will have. 

Ruby Beach and the Tree of Life

Ruby Beach

Considered to be one of the prettiest beaches in the Pacific Northwest, Kalaloch Beach has two can’t miss destinations this spring. Before the summer crowds flock to these popular spots along Highway 101, head to these iconic spots, just 69 miles from Seabrook. In the spring months, the great gray whale migration is visible, while scores of bald eagles fly overhead and perch in nearby trees. The two must-see hiking options along this stretch of coast are Ruby Beach and the Tree of Life, both less than a mile in length. Ruby Beach is a wonderland of sea stacks and driftwood and has one of the best sunset spots on the entire Pacific Coast of the US.  The Tree of Life, just south of the Kalaloch campground, is as iconic as it is beautiful, precariously perched above a cave, barely holding on. It won’t last forever, so don’t skip this spot!

Second Beach at LaPush and Rialto Beach

Second Beach

One hundred and ten miles from Seabrook, two stunning beach hikes will compete for your adoration and attention. The first, just south of the small community of LaPush, is a highlight of Olympic National Park and one of the can’t miss adventures. Known as Second Beach, this four mile round trip trek leads through a breathtaking forest before leading down to a stunning stretch of beach filled with sea stacks and tide pools. Not to be outdone, on the other side of the river from LaPush, Olympic National Park’s Rialto Beach is a breathtaking walk along a rugged shoreline. This four mile trip passes next to endless driftwood, rocky shores and towering sea stacks, highlighted by the aptly named Hole in the Wall. In the Spring months, LaPush is the home to the annual Welcoming the Whales Ceremony put on by the Quileute Tribe. 

Cape Disappointment

One hundred miles from Seabrook, nestled at the mouth of the Columbia River, a coastal wonderland with an iconic lighthouse, huge waves and miles of trails is waiting for you. There are eight miles of hiking around the Cape Disappointment State Park, making this a perfect place to explore before working your way back up Highway 101 toward Seabrook. A Washington State Discover Pass is needed to explore here, but with spring whale watching, incredible waves and iconic destinations like Dead Man’s Cove, you won’t mind the small fee. Seriously, hike Dead Man’s Cove, as the view from here is worth the drive down. 

Shi Shi Beach

Shi Shi Beach

Finally, we end at what most consider to be the wildest and gorgeous beach on the entire West Coast. Yes, it may take three hours to get here from Seabrook, but the drive is along Highway 101 and the incredibly gorgeous Strait of Juan de Fuca Scenic Highway, passing ocean views, herds of elk, hidden waterfalls and towering trees. All of this to reach the trailhead to Shi Shi Beach, which leads to a swath of coastline as wild and rugged as you can imagine. Full of sea stacks and tide pools, insane geology and sea life, a spring trip to Shi Shi rewards you with an empty beach that is packed in the summer months. With whales visible, seals, otters, eagles and deer frequently spotted, and the rocky coastline stretching north and south, hiking this eight mile round trip trail is considered to be the highlight of the Washington Coast. To visit, you’ll need a Makah Tribal Pass, available for just $10 at numerous locations around Neah Bay. 

Make Seabrook Your Home Away From Home

Choosing one of these destinations or taking a few weeks and exploring them all is up to you. Using Seabrook as your jumping off point will give you not just a great place to rest each night, but gives you a relaxing, beautiful and accessible beach home for as long as you wish. After a day of driving and hiking, return back to Seabrook and enjoy the food, shopping and drinks, or take the next day to relax at the spa, take a dip in the pool and enjoy the sounds of life in this perfect beach community.

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