Rialto Beach is one of the most popular beaches on the Olympic Peninsula, and for good reason: it is gorgeous! It’s also one of the easiest beaches to access, unlike Second Beach, which requires close to a mile hike through a forest before reaching the shore (totally worth it, though!).
At Rialto Beach, the parking lot is within a few steps of the sand and the views are immediately stunning!
The Beauty of Rialto Beach
Walk through the piles of drift wood and gaze upon majestic sea stacks, as the salty breeze greets you.
When we arrived, the sun was just barely starting to rise and the pastel colors of dawn created a pleasant glow on the rock formations.
We set our alarms to wake up early in order to arrive at the beach during low tide. We had read that if you time your trip to Rialto Beach right, you will get to experience some of the most beautiful tidepools in the world!
We followed the shoreline to the tree-topped sea stacks and came upon an unbelievable amount of star fish (sea stars) and other sea urchins!
And just when we thought the wildlife couldn’t get any better, we spotted a pair of bald eagles on a nearby perch.
The 400mm zoom lens we purchased prior to our trip was finally being put to good use!
As we started the walk back to our car, we came across more eagles in a nearby field.
At this point, we had spent a good amount of time at Rialto exploring the tidepools and photographing the eagles, and it quickly became a race against the tide!
We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to check the tide charts before visiting any of the beaches on the Olympic Peninsula. When we arrived, there was plenty of ‘beach’ and within an hour and a half, there was hardly any sand left to be seen. Our soggy socks can attest to the fact that the tides roll in quicker than you would think… and it’s not completely without warning, so long as you are aware of the rising and falling tides!