Hole in the Wall is a narrow arch that can be accessed at low tide at Rialto Beach in Olympic National Park. The trip to Hole in the Wall requires a hike of about 3.3 miles roundtrip, but it seems farther because of the soft sand on the beach.
Parking at Rialto Beach can be a problem at low tide, so make sure to get there a bit early. Also, you want to plan time to hike out to Hole in the Wall, so that you reach it near low tide and have time to explore before the tide starts coming back in. From the parking area, head north toward the bathrooms. As you walk out on the beach, you can see the large seastacks that hide hole in the wall far down the beach.
The ocean is angry in this part of Washington, and the waves crash relentlessly against the beach, but it is far more beautiful than terrible. Massive pieces of driftwood as large as the trees in the surrounding forest litter the beach. Our boys enjoyed looking at the millions of perfectly round rocks along the shore as they hiked. They picked up dozens of them, but left each one because this is a national park. We loved walking along the water and watching the pelicans soaring above. We even spotted a bald eagle.
As you round the seastacks, the hole in the wall appears. If it is low tide, you can carefully climb round the rocks without getting wet. It is very slippery and would be tricky for young kids if the water isn’t low. Even when we were there at low tide, I ended up with my feet wet. Water shoes are probably a good plan, and then you don’t have to worry about slipping.
Once you are around the rocks, you can walk right through the hole. On the far side, there are tidepools. We found a lot of shrunken anemones, a few crabs, and a starfish. There are better tide pools elsewhere, but it was still fun to explore this area at low tide. Walking through Hole in the Wall at Rialto Beach was a highlight of our trip.
The hike back along the beach seems longer than the hike out. This is because the sand is soft and the car is nowhere near as exciting as hole in the wall. Take it slow and enjoy the ocean! We recommend spending a good part of the day exploring this area if you have the time. Here are a few tips for visiting Hole in the Wall Rialto Beach in Olympic National Park:
- Check the Tide tables for the day you will be visiting. Using this link, change the date and see when low tide will be. Start hiking about about 90 minutes before low tide, so that you can arrive when the water is at its lowest. This offers the easy access to Hole in the Rock.
- Wear good hiking shoes, but ones that you don’t mind getting a little wet. You would not want to climb the rocks in flip-flops.
- Be prepared for the weather. We visited in August and as you can see we are wearing pants and sweatshirts.
- Parking is limited, so arriving well before low tide will help.