Everything You Need to Know About Visiting Kalaloch Beach

Last Updated on July 13, 2022 by admin

Kalaloch Beach is located on the western coast of Washington’s peninsula along the Pacific Ocean. Because the beach faces west, it’s the perfect place to watch a dramatic sunset. The beach itself has fine sand and lots of driftwood. Kalaloch Beach is also close to other famous Washington must-see places, like the Hoh Rain Forest, Ruby Beach, Third Beach, and the Tree of Life. In this post, we’ll share everything you need to know about visiting Kalaloch Beach. We will share four attractions at Kalaloch itself, recommendations on where to stay, and nearby attractions as well.

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Kalaloch Beach Campground


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What to Pack for a Visit to Kalaloch Beach

When you visit the coast, you’ll want to prepare for rain (just in case). 

We recommend that you bring the following:

  • Lightweight rain jacket: If you’re visiting during the warmer months, you’ll want to bring a waterproof outer shell that will keep you dry but won’t be too warm. 
  • Heavy rain jacket: If you’re visiting during the cooler months, you’ll want to bring a heavier rain jacket that will keep you warm and dry.
  • Waterproof hiking boots: We recommend waterproof hiking boots. They’ll provide you with good support as you explore the trails, while also keeping your feet dry.
  • Waterproof pants: We’d only recommend bringing waterproof pants if heavy rainfall is expected. 
  • Power bank: You’ll be using your phone a lot for maps, navigation, and taking photos. Bringing a power bank will make sure you don’t run out of cell phone battery. We like this one because it has a built-in cord. (Less things to lose!)
  • Water bottle: Stay hydrated while out exploring.
  • Day pack: Bring a comfortable day backpack so you can stow away extra layers and snacks. We recommend bringing extra socks just in case!

 

(Click on any of the images above for current pricing information.)

Anytime you go hiking, be sure to bring the 10 Essentials for hiking safety.

 

About Kalaloch Beach

The word Kalaloch is pronounced “Klay-laak” and is derived from the Quinault term k’-E-le-ok, which means “a good place to land.” 

There are 8 indigenous tribes that live along the shores of the Olympic peninsula. These include the Quinault, Quileute, S’Klallam, Hoh, Jamestown S’Klallam, Elwha Klallam, Makay, Port Gamble, and Skokomish.

In 1953, the Kalaloch Beach area was added to Olympic National Park. In 1981, Olympic National Park was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

When visiting, be sure to follow Leave No Trace principles. Don’t litter and strive to leave the land as you found it. 

We recommend downloading the National Park Service app in advance of your visit. Cell phone coverage within Olympic National Park can be unreliable, so you can download all of your maps offline. You can also learn about the many different regions of the park.

If visiting Kalaloch Beach, be sure to also see our posts about nearby Ruby Beach and Third Beach!
 

Kalaloch Beach Campground

You might also be interested in our post about the best 15 beaches in Seattle.

 

What to See at Kalaloch

1. Kalaloch Beach

Kalaloch Beach Campground Jelly Fish
Lots of jellies on the shore in this particular area

 

The first thing you should see at Kalaloch is the beach!

The beach has fine sand (in comparison to some of the rocky beaches in the area). We recommend going for beach walks, beach combing, and bird watching. It’s not uncommon to see bald eagles in the area! We saw lots of jellies on the shore the last time we visited.

We personally like to play bocce ball whenever we visit the beach. (A tradition for us that started in Florida!) 

Swimming is possible at Kalaloch Beach, but swimmers should be aware of the potential for rip tides and large driftwood logs. 

Playing bocce ball at the beach Kalaloch
Playing a game of Bocce ball at the beach!

 

2. Tree of Life

Tree of Life Kalaloch
“Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.” – Seneca

 

The Tree of Life is one of the most impressive natural wonders in Washington State. This tree, also known as the Tree Root Cave, has defied all odds. It continues to survive the harsh coastal environment even though its roots are fully exposed beneath due to erosion. The tree grips onto the edges of the bluff, and somehow it continues to survive. 

It’s a miracle that one of the coast’s harsh storms hasn’t toppled it over yet. If this is a site you want to see, we recommend that you visit it as soon as possible!

The tree is a Sitka Spruce. The soil beneath it was likely eroded by a small stream that led to the ocean. After years of erosion, there is now a small cave beneath the tree. 

To reach the tree of life in Kalaloch, head to the Kalaloch Campground. The tree is located within walking distance along the beach. (From our campsite, we headed down to the beach. Facing the beach, we walked to the left a short distance. According to our memory, the tree is located just south of the C loop.)

Do not go beneath the tree or touch it in any way. Please observe this miracle of nature from a respectful distance.

Read our detailed articled on the Tree of Life if you plan on visiting it during your trip!
 

3. Kalaloch Creek Nature Trail

After you’ve done a beach walk, head across the highway to a beautiful short trail in the forest. The Kalaloch Creek Nature Trail is a fairly flat .8 mile loop. The total elevation gain is only 20 feet. The trail can be pretty soggy, so be sure to bring waterproof hiking boots. (I wear Columbia brand boots. I’ve hiked lots of miles and they have held up great!)

4. Ranger Station

The Kalaloch Ranger Station is open daily during the summer, limited hours during the spring, and is closed during the fall and winter. Call ahead and see if there is any programming planned during your visit! The rangers are very knowledgeable about the local history, trails, vegetation, and tides.

 

 

Be sure to see our full post on the nearby Hoh Rain Forest – a UNESCO World Heritage Site!
 

 

Where to Stay at Kalaloch

Kalaloch Lodge

157151 US-101, Forks, WA 98331

The Kalaloch Lodge is located on a bluff overlooking the ocean. The main lodge was built in 1953 and is currently owned by the National Park Service. In addition to the main lodge, there are also cozy cabins and the Seacrest House, which is full of hotel-style rooms.

The cabins at Kalaloch Lodge have either full kitchens or kitchenettes as well as wood-burning fireplaces. The Bluff Cabins have a view of either the ocean or the creek. The Kalaloch Cabins are log cabin-style and have nature views.

There is intentionally no WiFi available at Kalaloch Lodge so that guests can truly disconnect. Dogs are permitted in the cabins, but not the main lodge.

Kalaloch Campground

Kalaloch Campground, Forks, WA 98331

Camping at Kalaloch Campground Beach
Our campsite at Kalaloch… can’t beat the view!

 

Kalaloch Campground is open 365 days a year. During the summer (5/26/21-9/15/21) you can make reservations. The rest of the year, it’s first-come, first-served. During the off-season, some of the camping loops might be closed, but some loops will remain open. We highly recommend that you make reservations in advance if you are planning on visiting during the summer months.

The Kalaloch Campground is fairly large, with 168 campsites. (Including 4 accessible sites and 1 group site.) There are no hookups for RVs, but there is a dump station for a fee. There are restrooms with flush toilets, but no showers.

The campground is located on a bluff that overlooks the ocean. Not all of the campsites have ocean views, but many of the campsites on the western edge of the loops do have views. Try to get a beach-view campsite if you can… there is nothing like watching the sunset from your campfire!

We stayed at the Kalaloch Campground during the month of April and there were plenty of sites available during our visit. Our first night, we stayed at a campsite on the inner loop. When a beach view campsite became available, we switched sites. We thought the campground’s location was absolutely stunning!

South Beach Campground

The South Beach Campground is located just a few miles south of the Kalaloch Campground. This campground is open just during the warmer months, so it’s a good place to check out if the Kalaloch Campground is full. The South Beach Campground is not on the reservation system, so it’s a first-come, first-served basis. Because Kalaloch Campground uses reservations during the summer (and is often fully booked), the South Beach Campground is a good place to try for a last-minute getaway. 

Hotels in Nearby Forks, WA

About 34 miles north of Kalaloch is the town of Forks, WA. (The town that was made famous due to the Twilight book series.) Lodging options in Forks include the Pacific Inn Motel, Town Motel, and the Woodland Inns

For a full list of lodging options in Forks, click here.


 

Things to Do Near Kalaloch

  • Ruby Beach: This is easily one of the most beautiful beaches in Washington State. Watch the sunset behind the sea stacks.
  • Hoh Rain Forest: Head into the rainforest and check out the Hall of Mosses loop trail.
  • Hurricane Ridge: On a clear day, you’ll see the tops of the mountains and even as far out to Canada.
  • Third Beach: The trail to Third Beach is 3.6 miles roundtrip. You’ll see plenty of sea stacks from this beach hike.
  • Big Cedar Tree: A very short .1 mile trail will take you a massive Cedar tree believed to be over 1,000 years old. After storms in 2014, it was split nearly in two.
  • Lake Crescent: This beautiful lake is located in the Olympic Mountains.
  • Sol Duc Falls: To reach the falls, you’ll complete a beautiful 1.6 mile roundtrip hike. 
  • World’s Largest Spruce Tree: The tree has a circumference of 58 feet, 11 inches.
  • Forks, Washington: This is the town where the Twilight book series takes place. Fans of the books will enjoy seeing many of the places mentioned in the books.
  • Port Townsend, Washington: This historic seaport is known for its coastal views and Victorian-style buildings.
Don’t miss our full guide to Hurricane Ridge!
 

 

Where to Eat Near Kalaloch

  • Hard Rain Cafe |  27 miles from Kalaloch. The Hard Rain Cafe serves coffee, breakfast, and burgers. It’s one of the closest food options near the Hoh Rain Forest.
  • Creekside Restaurant | 0 miles (located at the Kalaloch Lodge). This rustic restaurant serves classic American food with a view. At the time of this writing, they are open for to-go orders only.
  • BBG Blakeslee Bar & Grill | 33 miles from Kalaloch. This is a full-service bar located in Forks, Washington, for guests that are 21 years old and over.

 


 

Frequently Asked Questions About Kalaloch

How do you get to the Tree of Life?

The Tree of Life is best accessed from the Kalaloch Campground. When we visited, it was just a quick walk along the beach south of the C Loop. If you’re staying at the Kalaloch Lodge, you can also walk north a little over half a mile.

Where is Kalaloch Beach?

Kalaloch Beach is located on Washington State’s western coast along the Pacific Ocean. 

Can you get to Kalaloch Beach from the lodge?

Yes! The Kalaloch Lodge is located on a bluff overlooking the beach. It’s just a quick walk down to the beach.

How do you pronounce Kalaloch?

The word Kalaloch is pronounced “Klay-laak” and is derived from the Quinault term k’-E-le-ok, which means “a good place to land.” 

What is there to do in Kalaloch?

When visiting Kalaloch, we recommend that you visit Kalaloch Beach, see the Tree of Life, and walk the Kalaloch Creek Nature Trail. If the ranger station is open, it’s worth a visit. We also recommend that you stop by the Kalaloch Lodge. Even if you’re not a guest there, you can stop by for a meal!

How do I book Kalaloch Campground?

You can make reservations during the peak-season months at this website. During the off-season, campsites are first-come, first-served.

Does Kalaloch Campground have showers?

No. The campground has flush toilets, but no showers. You’ll have to leave the campground and travel some distance to the closest shower facility.


Summary

We truly enjoyed our visit to Washington’s coast and Kalaloch Beach. There are so many beautiful things to see in the area, we were glad we spent several days visiting. 

Pinterest pin for Kalaloch Beach
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