Incredible Tide Pools at Rialto Beach

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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!).

Rialto Beach Olympic Peninsula Washington

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

Wood Arch Rialto Beach Olympic Peninsula Washington

Walk through the piles of drift wood and gaze upon majestic sea stacks, as the salty breeze greets you.

Drift Wood Rialto Beach Olympic Peninsula Washington

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.

Sea Stack Rialto Beach Olympic Peninsula Washington Sea Stacks Rialto Beach Olympic Peninsula Washington

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!

Sea Stacks Rialto Beach Olympic Peninsula Washington

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! 

Rialto Beach Olympic Peninsula WashingtonStarfish Rialto Beach Olympic Peninsula Washington Starfish Rialto Beach Olympic Peninsula Washington Starfish and sea anemone Rialto Beach Olympic Peninsula Washington Starfish Rialto Beach Olympic Peninsula Washington Purple starfish

And just when we thought the wildlife couldn’t get any better, we spotted a pair of bald eagles on a nearby perch.

Two Bald Eagles perched on dead tree

The 400mm zoom lens we purchased prior to our trip was finally being put to good use!

Bald Eagle perched on branchBald Eagle flapping its wings on a perch

As we started the walk back to our car, we came across more eagles in a nearby field.

Bald Eagle Olympic Peninsula Washington

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!

Drift wood Rialto Beach Olympic Peninsula Washington

 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!


  1. Jessica @Triple T Travels

    These are beautiful photos! I’d love to visit Rialto Beach now because of this post. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Oh wow those bald eagles are just gorgeous!!

  3. What a stunning place! I’d love to visit it one day! And the wildlife there is just the best!

  4. Wow–it looks amazing there! I love all the starfish. Great photos–I need to add Rialto Beach to my list now for sure!

  5. Sammi Wanderlustin'

    Wow, what a stunning place. Look at all those awesome creatures; eagles and starfish! I wish I’d seen just one live starfish

  6. What a stunning place and some great shots. I love the colours contrasting with the rocks and the shot through the driftwood is fantastic.

  7. Great photos of those eagles – incredible shots! I also really love the driftwood photos that frame the entire photo!

  8. Oh my gosh– the starfish! That’s adorable. I’ve now added a new place to my bucketlist 😉

  9. Oh my gosh, what amazing views. I can’t believe you saw so many bald eagles! I don’t think I’ve *ever* seen one in the wild. Clearly it was worth getting up early!

  10. Great photos!!! Thank you very much!

    We are going to Rialto Beach this June with kids and would be great to see similar tide pools. Can you please explain more, where exactly should we go (from the parking) in order to find the tide pools? and yes, we checked the tide schedule and will come during the lower tide.

    Thanks a alot!

    • You’re welcome! We simply walked straight from the parking lot out to the beach, turned left and walked down a ways to the tidepools. If you’re there at low tide, they’d be hard to miss! Have a great time!

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