Second Beach is recognized as one of Olympic National Park’s crown jewels, and its views and surroundings don’t disappoint. It’s a great place to spend a night but it can also be done as just a day trip if you wish.
To access the beach, you’ll need to make an easy 0.7-mile with minimal elevation change (~100 feet). Once there, scout out a good spot along the beach to set up camp, and enjoy some of Washington’s most scenic coastline. Just make sure your spot is above where the high tide will rise to. At lower tides, explore the numerous tide pools and the Natural Arch at the northern end of the beach.
Depending on the time of year, the beach can get very crowded, but the beach is quite long, so you should be able to find a spot among the driftwood to pitch a tent even if it’s busy. You do need a [wilderness camping permit](http://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/wilderness-permits.htm) to camp on the beach. This can be picked up at the Olympic National Park Visitors Center in Port Angeles. You can also pick up required bear cans there. Also keep in mind that there is no access to potable water.
Second beach features some of my favorite seastacks on the Washington coast. You can climb to the top of the one to your left when you first arrive at the beach. At low tide you can walk behind the largest seastack where there is another seastack behind it. My advice with this beach is to get up at sunrise. The beach will probably be empty as everyone is still asleep. There also might be some morning fog making for some interesting photos of the seastacks.
In the evenings, this is an amazing spot to enjoy a stunning sunset. If you’re just making this a quick trip, be sure to pack a flashlight or headlamp to help you get back to your car.
- Camping permit (This can be picked up at the Olympic National Park Visitors Center in Port Angeles)
- Backcountry camping gear (go warmer on the sleeping bag than you might think, the breeze off the ocean can get chilly)
- Fire building Supplies (fires are allowed on the beach)
- Bear can, can be picked up at the Olympic National Park Visitors Center where you get permits
- Water purification system