Rialto Beach and Hole-in-the-Wall Hike in Olympic National Park

Last Updated on December 14, 2020

Rialto Beach is one of the spectacular beaches in Olympic National Park and one of the best for tidepooling! On this hike the beach is the trail, the whole 4 miles! This is a flat hike two miles to Hole-in-the-Wall and two miles back.

Most trails in Olympic National Park do NOT allow dogs. This trail does, but ONLY as far as Ellen Creek (just under a mile from the parking area). This is important because if you want to walk as far as the tidepools around hole-in-the-wall you will not be able to bring your dog with you.

The most impressive feature here, other than the Pacific Ocean itself, is the tidepooling at Hole-in-the-Wall. Hole-in-the-Wall itself is only accessible at low tide. Make sure to consult the tide tables to time your visit for a low tide.

Rialto Beach is on the homeland of the Hoh and Quileute people.

Related: What to wear for a hike in the Pacific Northwest, what to bring on a hike in the Pacific Northwest

Is the Rialto Beach hike to Hole-in-the-Wall right for me?

Driftwood piled up on Rialto Beach in Olympic National Park. In the distance are several rock formations and small islands in the ocean
Navigating over the driftwood logs is the main obstacle getting onto Rialto Beach

This the perfect hike for those who love exploring tidepools. Because of the two mile walk to get there, it’s less crowded than the tidepools at Ruby Beach (which are also spectacular).

The park service usually sets up a path that is wheelchair accessible to the beach, however getting onto the sand usually involves getting over lots of logs, which is the biggest obstacle you’ll face on this hike.

Backpacking is not allowed here, although camping is available at the Mora Campground which is right by Rialto Beach in the forest. If you want to try out beach backpacking in Olympic National Park, I recommend Second Beach.

When is a good time to visit Rialto Beach?

The best time to visit Rialto Beach if you want to hike out to the tidepools at Hole-in-the-Wall is any low tide during daylight hours! This hike is a good all year option, though it’s smart to check Olympic National Park’s website for road conditions as the Mora Road to the Rialto Beach is occasionally closed in winter due to downed trees after large storms.

Where is it?

Rialto Beach is in Olympic National Park on the Olympic Coast, near the town of Forks. From Forks, head west on Highway 110, at the junction just north of town.

Just under 10 miles from the junction, there is a Y in the road. You will go right here to head to Rialto Beach on the Mora Road. Left heads towards the village of La Push and the trailheads at Second and Third Beach.

On Mora road, you’ll continue about 5 more miles until the road dead ends at the parking area for Rialto Beach. You will need to pay the Olympic National Park entrance fee ($30 per car).

Camping is available near Rialto Beach at the Mora Campground in Olympic National Park. Hotel options are available in La Push and Forks.

Trail Description

A person walks on a sandy beach next to the forest. In the distance, rocks in the water are lit up by the sun. It's early morning and the beach is still in shadow
An early morning hike on Rialto beach to get to the tidepools for low tide

You’ll head north on the beach from the parking lot, navigating over driftwood logs to get to the sand.

Once on the beach, you’ll go north for approximately two miles to reach Hole-in-the-Wall and the tidepools around it.

A large hole in a rock on the beach in Olympic National Park. Tidepools are under the arch and distant islands can be seen in the ocean in the distance
At low tide, you can walk through Hole-in-the-Wall and see amazing tidepools

Hole-in-the-Wall is a huge rock that waves have carved a hole in that you can easily walk through at low tide.

Grab a tidepool animal identification guide at the visitor center in Port Angeles and have fun trying to find them all!

Purple and orange sea stars cling to a rock at low tide in Olympic National Park
Purple and Orange Seastars cling to the rocks at low tide

Pay attention to the tide here so you start heading back before the water comes back up!

Head back on the beach the way you came to return to your car.

Fuel up after Rialto Beach

Personally, I think this is the perfect place to pack a picnic and enjoy it on the beach!

If you’re looking for a restaurant, in my opinion the best restaurant in the area is River’s Edge in La Push. They have excellent seafood and a great view of the harbor and the ocean. You can usually see at least one eagle while you’re enjoying your food.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging

There is no fast charging on the Olympic Peninsula except in Port Angeles. If you’re staying overnight, then you can use Level 2 chargers available in Forks.

Unless you have very long range and/or are staying overnight in Forks, Rialto Beach is not a great destination for an electric vehicle….yet!

A large hole in a rock on the beach in Olympic National Park. Tidepools are under the arch and distant islands can be seen in the ocean in the distance. Text reads: Rialto beach hike to Hole-in-the-wall Olympic National Park
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Jennie Flaming
Hi! I'm Jennie. I’m a fourth generation Seattleite. I lived in Alaska for many years and I still spend lots of time there every year visiting friends and working as a tour director. I've been a guide for many years in both Alaska and Washington, am a field editor for the Milepost and host the Alaska Uncovered Podcast about Alaska Travel as well as the Washington State Hiking Podcast. I love to share the places I love with visitors, newcomers and my fellow locals. I’m so glad to have you here!