Shi Shi Beach and Point of Arches
Olympic National Park in Washington state is a wondrous place, with environments ranging from snow-covered volcanic peaks to lush temperate rainforest to wild and remote Pacific coast. A couple of weeks ago I visited the Olympic Peninsula, accompanied by Laurent Martres, publisher of the PhotoTripUSA guidebook series. Laurent and I did an overnight backpack hike to Shi Shi Beach and Point of Arches. It’s possible to do this trail as a dayhike, but we really wanted to catch sunset and early morning light, and with the sun setting after 9pm in summer at this latitude, that would make for a very long day and not getting back to the trailhead until about midnight.
We’d hoped for some nice, wispy clouds at sunset, but settled for slightly hazy clear skies on a remarkably calm and warm day, and we hit the tides just right to include an interesting rock formation as a foreground to the sea stacks at Point of Arches. We also got a minus tide just after dawn the next morning, which exposed some of the most beautiful tidepools I’ve ever seen, filled with sea stars, anemones and a variety of interesting seaweed.
Point of Arches is truly spectacular. On a scale of 1-10, I’d give it a 12, and it just jumped to the top of my list for most scenic location on the whole west coast.