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Kellbell
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PostThu Dec 27, 2018 4:33 pm 
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And would you bother with a permit with the government shutdown going on?
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RumiDude
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PostThu Dec 27, 2018 4:56 pm 
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Second Beach is much better in my opinion.

You are not permitted to camp at Rialto. You are supposed to go beyond Ellen Creek, which is a little less than a mile up the beach., almost to Hole In The Wall.

I would not bother with the Permit if it is just an overnight. I doubt they even have self-register slips at the TH.

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Damian
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PostThu Dec 27, 2018 6:09 pm 
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Both are great places.  Second gets lots of use but the ocean's presence drowns out human jabber.  Expect fewer folks at the legal spots accessible from Rialto.  Both have self registration stations but the permits may be all gone even during normal times.  A good reason to grab a couple extras when available for future shut-down trips.  ONP has maintained a very reasonable registration process geared towards accommodating people.  Get out there and keep the ball rolling.
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tinman
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PostFri Dec 28, 2018 7:11 am 
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Also, with the Government shutdown and storm damage the road to Rialto is gated at the Ranger Station which means an almost 2 mile road walk to the Rialto beach parking lot.

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HappyHiker
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PostFri Dec 28, 2018 7:16 am 
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Is there a place to park legally and safely overnight at the ranger station?

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tinman
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PostFri Dec 28, 2018 11:54 am 
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yes

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Damian
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PostFri Dec 28, 2018 12:07 pm 
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Right, I forgot about the road closure.  This is a rare opportunity, not a hindrance.  A chance for total solitude at a world class beach for the added cost of a two mile road walk though coastal rain forest with the sound of Quarks favorite ghostly buoy crying through the mist wink.gif .  There is also the slim chance the road has been cleared (doubt it though).
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Anne Elk
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PostFri Dec 28, 2018 12:26 pm 
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There likely is a gate they've closed between the access drive and the ranger station parking lot. Even if it's open, who knows what's "legal" under the circumstances.  You might be best off given the closure going to 2nd beach.  When I was there late last summer the weather had turned, and there was also a weird inversion going on where it was sunny in the morning but totally socked in before noon, fog so thick you couldn't see the nearest stacks ... so all there was to see of 2nd beach was...sand.  Rialto was consequently more interesting: the pebbly beach, spooky dead trees, etc.  I stayed at Mora campground that trip given the weather.  It was the most amazingly quiet formal campground I'd ever stayed in; the coyote serenade at 3 am was a bonus.

If you camp at 2nd beach, bring a shovel and prepare to LNT - the designated outhouse I saw near the trail was a fright, and "bush toilet" situation is supposedly awful.  See this WTA report: https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/trip-reports/trip_report.2018-07-25.9549764410 . My queries to the poster are in there.

Despite some of the reviews you find online, I enjoyed having a couple meals at the restaurant in LaPush.  The fries order was large enough for 2-3 people; breakfast was fine, just not fancy.

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seattlenativemike
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PostFri Dec 28, 2018 12:41 pm 
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The local pizza place in Forks is good too
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Damian
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PostFri Dec 28, 2018 1:03 pm 
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Anne may be right though there is no mention of gate closure at the park boundary, which would only add an additional (beneficial) mile to the Rialto option which I recommend.  One could decide on the fly as Second Beach is a reasonably short drive from the Mora road.  The posted literature is clear that it is legal to visit either place.  Overnight should not be a problem if permits are still at the TH self register stations.  Same problem either place.  I've found any food tastes good after a winter hike as long as it is not out of my pack.
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tinman
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PostFri Dec 28, 2018 1:18 pm 
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The gate is just past the Ranger Sta. and road to the campground.  It was closed last week during the windstorms for trees across the road and as far as I know has not been opened, even before the shutdown.  I might drive down there this afternoon and take a look, if I do, I'll report what I see.

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RichP
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PostFri Dec 28, 2018 1:38 pm 
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This report from yesterday says the gate is closed on Mora Rd 1.86 miles from the end  and to park at the ranger station.

https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/trip-reports/trip_report.2018-12-28.7190142605

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Kellbell
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PostFri Dec 28, 2018 3:14 pm 
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Wow, thank you all so much for all the great info. One thing I read about 2nd beach that has me a little concerned is that cars are often vandalized.  This was a really old source, so I'm not sure if that is true anymore.
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HermitThrush
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PostSat Dec 29, 2018 6:32 pm 
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tinman wrote:
Also, with the Government shutdown and storm damage the road to Rialto is gated at the Ranger Station which means an almost 2 mile road walk to the Rialto beach parking lot.

Had I realized the hike was only that long I'd have done it when I got to the locked gate last week. Rats.
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HermitThrush
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PostSat Dec 29, 2018 6:34 pm 
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Kellbell wrote:
Wow, thank you all so much for all the great info. One thing I read about 2nd beach that has me a little concerned is that cars are often vandalized.  This was a really old source, so I'm not sure if that is true anymore.

Second and Third Beach trailheads are close to the village of La Push, with Second Beach being closer. A sign at Third Beach when I was there last week said the trailhead was located in a high crime area. I believe it. I was fine though.
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