Kalaloch Beach sunset.

Kalaloch Beach Olympic National Park

Kalaloch Beach is part of the Olympic National Park overlooking the Pacific Ocean to the west of the mountains in the Olympic National Park. Before planning our trip to the Olympic Penisula I didn’t know that Olympic National Park had two sections. One section is in the mountains and a separate section is on the beach. Even when picking campsites I thought that the beach section was maybe forest service land. The idea that a small section of Olympic National Park overlooked the ocean didn’t occur to me.

Camping right on the beach

The fact is that I didn’t know anything about the coastline in northwest Washington. Perhaps I assumed that it was all rocky. I was correct that some of the Washington Coastlines were rocky. I didn’t expect that the number of rocky areas is small. What I didn’t really expect was the vast expanse of sand.

At the bottom of the bluff, logs have piled up all delivered by the ocean on high tides.
At the bottom of the bluff, logs have piled up all delivered by the ocean on high tides. The original owner of the lodge at Kalaloch Beach used these driftwood logs to build the lodge. At the bottom of the bluff next to the campground, there are several trails leading to the beach.
As typical on all the beaches in Washington, you can tell by the shape of the trees that the wind blows hard.
This picture gives you a good perspective of the sand and cliffs at Kalaloch Beach. As typical on all the beaches in Washington, you can tell by the shape of the trees that the wind blows hard.

The magic combination

As I investigated, we chose to camp at Kalaloch Beach mostly because I could reserve an awesome campsite. It had to be big enough to fit our RV. With any luck, it would have an unobstructed view of the ocean. Our view is mostly out the front windshield of the RV so we needed to camp across the street. We also needed a campsite without anyone in front of us. Ideally, the campsite would also have an opening to the sky that would allow us to use our solar.

The view from our front window while camping at Kalaloch Beach.
The view from our front window while camping at Kalaloch Beach. As you can see, we have our car parked a little away from the RV. Typically, the car is parked right next to our RV.

How to Plan

Our view and the parking spots were just as I hoped but it was not without a challenge. The road was a one-way going the wrong way. The campground design was faulty. Even if I were to go down the road going the wrong way (assuming I could get there without encountering another car) I still had the problem that the road was too narrow for my RV and had large low-hanging branches preventing our passage.

Kalaloch Beach campground our campsite is at the bottom right corner of this Google Satellite view.
Our campsite is at the bottom right corner of this Google Satellite view. Anytime we pick a campsite we nearly always check the satellite view to determine the orientation and location of the site. There were a couple of other sites that had the magic combination but they were closer to the highway.

I could tell by the satellite view that the road north of my campsite was a one-way heading south. My assumption was based on the angle of our campsite that the road in front of the campsite was northbound. My assumption was incorrect. Again the campground design was faulty. It took a little imagination to figure out how to get our RV into a campsite that had these challenges.

How did we get in?

Before I get to the answer, I need to comment a little about a little adverse feedback I get from Tami. We frequently camp in spots that were not designed for a big RV. Sometimes we win and this time we won big. Sometimes we fail and need a backup plan. Without a good team (Tami and I)we couldn’t camp this way.

It has a reward (great campsites) but has a little cost involved because they are hard to park in. The difficulty causes a little tension especially when our RV is touching the bushes. She has told me more than once that she was not happy with the site selection but understands that we haven’t been to these places before and thus we really don’t know what we will find. I’m sure that all our campsites next year in Alaska will be large and flat (sure they will).

At Kalaloch Beach they still get plenty of rain and this beach is located in the rainforest although not nearly as much rain as in the Hoh Rain Forest.
At Kalaloch Beach they still get plenty of rain and this beach is located in the rainforest although not nearly as much rain as in the Hoh Rain Forest.

Parking our RV

This time the key to our success (parking our RV) was the road to the north of our campsite. In nearly every case, when we park, Tami does the driving and I direct her while watching all the obstacles. I use standard aircraft handling arm movements and she is very good at following my signals.

We traveled southbound on the road to the north of our campsite and then made a left turn down the road next to the parking lot. After that, we made a three-point u-turn mostly while backing up until the front of the RV was pointing north and the rear of the RV could enter the campsite. This time we did the u-turn without any part of the RV hanging over a cliff (not always true).

Location

Really everything in the previous paragraphs describes planning, obstacles, and adapting to situations. Part of the plan was that Kalaloch Beach is less than forty miles from our previous campsite in the Hoh Rain Forest. This made our travel day very short and our arrival time at about noon. I couldn’t do this arriving at a new campsite after dark. I expected to have a great visit to the Hoh Rain Forest and Kalaloch Beach and I was right. Here is a quick link to that story. Hoh Rain Forest

The Tree of Life

Kalaloch Beach is in the rainforest and gets more than one hundred inches of rain each year. It isn’t as wet as the Hoh Rain Forest but it is very wet. The tree of life is so named because it just doesn’t give up. Most trees that have all the soil washed out would just be more driftwood in the ocean. This tree is one of the amazing things at this campground. Here is my picture.

This tree at Kalaloch Beach is named the tree of life. I visited this tree each evening to get this picture. Ages ago this tree grew and gradually while it was growing the water washed the soil out from under the tree.
This tree is named the tree of life. I visited this tree each evening to get a good picture. Ages ago this tree grew and gradually while it was growing the water washed the soil out from under the tree. The weight of the tree gradually lowered the trunk to about six feet below normal ground level and all the exposed roots are now covered with bark. This very large tree just won’t give up.

Sunsets

It wouldn’t be a good visit to a Pacific Beach location without some opportunity for good sunset photos. The picture above of the “Tree of life” was taken about a half hour before sunset to enhance the color saturation. Obviously, the picture at the top of this post has plenty of color saturation as do all the other pictures we included.

These trees are at Kalaloch Beach. The afterglow of sunset over the Pacific Ocean really makes the picture so pretty.
These trees are at Kalaloch Beach. The afterglow of sunset over the Pacific Ocean really makes the picture pretty. Without the afterglow, it would just be another windblown tree standing on the edge of a cliff overlooking a very blue ocean.
At sunset, the tree bark turns red with the sky color during sunset.
At sunset, the tree bark turns red at sunset. This picture is a little odd. The setting sun is to the left of the picture. The tree to the left of the picture (the one that looks like it had a hard life) Glows red on the sunny side. The other tree seems to have more red on the eastern side. There weren’t any trees casting shadows on the tree in the center of the picture. So I can’t explain the lighting and what appears t be shadows.

Reflections

We loved visiting Kalaloch Beach even though parking our big RV was challenging. On the way out we almost had to do another three-point turn to exit our campsite. You can’t do this RV thing and only expect to back up without turning. We are lucky to have created a great team (Tami).

If you time your visit to Olympic National park in August and September you can expect good weather. If you show up in November expect a month-long rain storm. Just like the rest of Olympic National Park, you will get less rain in August and September. Overall, we really enjoyed it and recommend it.

Our visit to Olympic National Park

Hurricane Ridge

Lake Crescent

Hoh Rain Forest

Olympic Rain Shadow

Quinault Rainforest and Kestner Homestead

Other Links

Visiting Kalaloch Beach

7 thoughts on “Kalaloch Beach Olympic National Park”

  1. I drove 100ft. ladder trucks that were about as long as your RV but I has a Tillerman to steer the back.
    I can’t imagine driving your RV.
    Someday you will have to teach me the aircraft hand signals.
    Safe travels my friends.

  2. Pingback: Quinault Rainforest and Kestner Homestead - FoxRVTravel

  3. Pingback: Lake Crescent - FoxRVTravel

  4. Pingback: Hurricane Ridge Olympic National Park - FoxRVTravel

  5. Pingback: In the Olympic Rain Shadow - FoxRVTravel

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