Visiting Kalaloch’s Tree of Life in Washington

Last Updated on January 4, 2022 by admin

The Tree of Life, also known as the Tree Root Cave, is one the most impressive natural wonders in Washington State. This tree continues to live despite all odds. Even though its roots are nearly fully exposed due to erosion, the tree continues to cling to the bluff and remain green. This post will provide you with everything you need to know to see the Tree of Life in Kalaloch, Washington, for yourself! 

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

 


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

How to Get to the Tree of Life 

The Tree of Life is located on Washington State’s western coast at Kalaloch Beach. It’s located about 178 miles west of Seattle. (The drive is a little over three hours long without traffic.) 

To reach the Tree of Life in Kalaloch, drive to the Kalaloch Campground. The tree is located within walking distance from the campground. We reached the Tree of Life by walking a very short distance along the beach south of the C loop. The Tree of Life will be easily spotted along the bluff.

If you’re trying to reach the Tree of Life from Kalaloch Lodge, you’ll head north about a half mile. 

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.

Do not go beneath the tree or touch it in any way. Please observe the tree from a respectful distance so that others can have the opportunity of seeing it.

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

 

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 the Tree of Life in Washington

The Tree of Life was formed by a stream traveling down the bluff and slowly eroding the soil beneath the tree. The roots have become more and more exposed as the years have gone by. Trees survive by absorbing nutrients in the soil through their roots, so the fact that this tree remains alive while so much of its root structure is exposed is somewhat of a miracle.

It’s amazing that the tree hasn’t collapsed after years of harsh storms along the coast. The tree continues to cling to the bluff and remain green.

As of the end of 2021, the Tree of Life in Kalaloch remains standing. We recommend that if you want to see this tree for yourself, that you get there as soon as possible. No one knows how much longer the tree will continue to stand. Before heading out, you can call the Kalaloch Lodge to see if it’s still standing, as well as look up recent TripAdvisor Reviews.

Read all about our article on what to see at Kalaloch Beach.

Where to Stay 

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!

Don’t miss our full article about Hurricane Ridge!
 

Things to Do Near Kalaloch

  • Ruby Beach: This is easily one of the most beautiful beaches in Washington State due to the numerous sea stacks.
  • Kalaloch Beach: This beach is wide and sandy, and the perfect place to watch the sunset.
  • 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.

 

Frequently Asked Questions about the Tree of Life in Washington

Is the Tree of Life still standing?

As of this publication date in December 2021, the Tree of Life in Washington is still standing. 

What is the Tree of Life?

The Tree of Life is a coastal tree in Washington State that continues to live despite having the soil below its roots nearly completely eroded. It’s also known as the Tree Root Cave. 

Where is the Tree of Life?

The Tree of Life is a famous tree located on Washington State’s western coast. You can access the tree through the Kalaloch Campground. 

Did the Tree of Life collapse?

As of December 2021, the Tree of Life in Kalaloch has not collapsed. It remains standing. 

What type of tree is the Tree of Life?

I have seen some bloggers label it as a Sitka Spruce, and I’ve seen others state it is a Coastal Cypress. I don’t know for sure. I hope to ask a ranger and update when I have the answer!

How old is the Tree of Life?

I called the Kalaloch Lodge and spoke to their front desk staff, and they estimated that the Tree of Life has been a popular sight to see since at least the 1950s. I’m not sure the actual age of the tree itself.


 

Summary

Visiting the Tree of Life in Kalaloch, Washington, has been one of our favorite travel memories. You can’t help but pause and reflect when you view the tree in person. We highly recommend that you visit this famous tree in Washington State!

Pinterest Tree of Life
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