Tide Crossing at Olympic Wilderness Area

This post is a part of the series for backpacking at the northern portion of the Olympic Wilderness Area from Ozette ranger station to Shi Shi Beach. We had trouble finding good resources describing the all the high tide crossings between Ozette ranger station and Shi Shi Beach when we planned our backpacking trip and thought it would be useful to document all the crossings in a blog post for future use.

Before I dive into the specific high tide crossing areas, there are some good to know facts regarding high tide crossing throughout this trail outlined below:

  1. Water resistant shoes are very useful throughout this trail as the probability of rain and getting your feet wet during tide crossings are high. I did not bring water resistant shoes on the hike and ended up getting my feet wet during a couple crossings. It wasn’t a huge deal for me since it was a short trip and I always had extra wool socks to change into.
  2. Hiking poles are super useful for boulder crossings. They provide better support and balance as you make your way around the slippery rocks.
  3. A detailed trail map with passable tide heights can be purchased at the WIC in Port Angeles. This is a very user friendly map and it’s important to have this map to understand when the section will be impassable. Since we completely missed Port Angeles on our way to the trail-head, we just took snap shots of the map and referenced it on our phones.


    Snapshot of a friendly hiker’s tide map

  4. Print out a current month tide table to accompany the trail map. The tide tables can be found HERE. Be sure to print this out to understand when the low and high tides are as they change on a daily basis.
  5. Bring gloves for the overland trails! The ropes are rough and will cut into your hands as you use it to pull yourself up.IMG_20160514_190052.jpg

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Overview of the North Ozette Coast, Washington

IMG_20160513_195436.jpgA couple weeks ago, Louis and I both had a last minute 4-day weekend and decided we would use it to backpack the North Ozette Coast located within the Olympic Wilderness and National Park area. Similar to the Lost Coast write up, we will break up this trip into several different posts including daily trail reports and tide reports.

Olympic Wilderness Coast is located 4.5 hours west of Seattle. The upper most portion of the coast (Shi Shi Beach) is a part Olympic National Park, while the reminder of the norther coast is a part of Olympic Wilderness area. Our choice of transportation for this trip is taking a flight from LAX to Seattle and renting a car to drive to the coast.  Continue reading

Trip Report- Sykes Hot Springs, Big Sur, CA

The Quick and Dirty:

Location:  Backpacking Sykes Hot Springs in Big Sur, CA.  The Pine Ridge trail head starts from Pfeiffer Big Sur State Beach and overnight parking is free at the lot.
Distance and Duration: 10 miles one way on the Pine Ridge trail to Sykes camp,  we finished the hike in about 4 hours one way.
Permit: No advanced permit reservation is required however a back country fire permit is needed if you want to cook with a stove or start a camp fire. At the Pfeiffer Big Sur State Beach ranger station, you can obtain the back country fire permit and for a $1 donation, the rangers will provide you with a nice trail map of the Pine Ridge trail.
Dogs: Dogs are allowed in the national forest and to the hot springs
Trail conditions: This is a very popular trail, therefore the it is well maintained and clearly marked.
Good to know: Beware of the abundant amount of poisonous oak on the trail. When arrived at Sykes camp, you will be required to cross the stream several times to get to the campsite and the hot springs. Be extra careful crossing the streams in the spring time when water flow is fast. It’s always a good idea to walk up and down the stream and pick a spot where the flow is the slowest before you cross. Having water shoes to cross the stream is a good idea or we just took off our hiking shoes and went bare foot across the stream.


Louis getting ready to start hiking at the Pine Ridge trail head

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San Simeon State Park and Hearst Castle

The Quick and Dirty:

Location: San Simeon State Beach is located  south of Hearst Castle and north of Cambria, CA. It is about a 4 hour drive north of Los Angeles.
Activities around San Simeon State Beach: Easy walking access to a beautiful stretch of beaches and within a 15 minute drive to William Randolph Hearst’s famous Hearst Castle.
Good to know: Camping spots at San Simeon state beach can be reserved through reserveamerica.com and it fills up quickly over the summer and weekends. Advanced booking is highly recommended.
Camping Fees: $35 car camping fee per night. The campsites are small but it can fit 3 backpacking tents or 2 Coleman (car camping) tents. The $35 fee only covers entrance fee for one car, each additional cars are $10.
Hearst Castle Tour Fees: $25/person for the grand room tour.  If you are interested in a guided tour at Hearst Castle on a weekend, it’s a good idea to make advanced reservations at least a couple days before your visit. This is a popular tourist destination and tickets have been known to sell out on the day of.


Windy day on San Simeon State Beach

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Overview of Santa Cruz Island- Channel Islands National Park

IMG_0400.JPGChannel Islands National Park has long been on our list of places to visit. Since Louis’s birthday fell on a Friday this year, I made an executive decision to celebrate his birthday by visiting Santa Cruz Island within Channel Islands National Park. Out of the five islands within the National Parks jurisdiction, Santa Cruz island is the most frequently visited island. Ferries to and from the island are available at least once a day.

This post will be followed by a series of other posts detailing the hikes and kayaking activities during our stay at Santa Cruz island. Continue reading