Chilean Memorial, La Push - Mora Beach Trails, Olympic National Park, Washington
Chilean Memorial - 7.4 miles
La Push - Mora Beach Trails
|Round-Trip Length:||7.4 miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||15' - 0' (62' max elevation)|
|Elevation Change:||Total elevation gain will vary by tide and route|
Chilean Memorial - 7.4 Miles Round-Trip
The Chilean Memorial is located 3.7 miles north of the Rialto Beach entry point in Olympic National Park. The memorial commemorates the W.J. Pirrie, a Chilean ship that wrecked in 1920 with no survivors.
While the destination is marked by a simple plaque that's quite easy to miss, the hike itself is spectacular. Other than a headland trail over Hole in the Wall, there's little inland assistance along this piece of coast.
Consult (and be sure to bring) a tide table before setting out, and anticipate challenging scrambles around headlands and other regularly occurring obstacles:
Cross surf logs at the parking lot and turn north on the beach, which is fairly narrow and pebbly with a moderate slope at high tide. You'll reach Ellen Creek at .8 miles, past which dogs are not permitted. The creek can be swift, so look for a wide point or log to walk over.
Once across you'll pass two towering sea stacks before reaching Hole in the Wall (1.6 miles), an interesting arch you can walk right through (low tide only) and explore a placid cove with tide pools.
Hole in the Wall is not accessible at high tide, but a short overland trail scales it to resume travel. The strip north of Hole in the Wall tapers around a headland (2.1 miles), which even at low tide requires significant scrambling. Here the coast grows increasingly rugged.
The route straightens up the coast with obstacles that vary in difficulty determined by the tide. At 3.1 miles it rounds a small headland into a large cove framed by the Cape Johnson headland to the north.
The Chilean Monument is located on the north end of this placid cove (3.7 miles), but a series of obstacles must be negotiated to reach it, including a challenging boulder field on the south end.
Look for an unofficial but well-established inland trail just before the rocks. It's not marked and difficult to see. Finding it will save valuable time and avoid a tough scramble. Currently a short, cut tree stump provides a step up on to the path, and is the best way to find it.
It weaves several hundred yards along a low bluff to a short rope that drops back onto the beach. Note this point, as it can be difficult to spot on the return.
Harbor and stellar seals often haul out on nearby outcrops, and kelp beds are good places to find sea otter. Bald eagles are a common sight in Sitka spruce that lean out over the coast. A good map will help you identify several major islands that lie off shore.
Interactive GPS Topo MapKey GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84
- N47 55.309 W124 38.316 — 0.0 miles : Rialto Beach Trailhead
- N47 55.985 W124 38.613 — .8 miles : Cross Ellen Creek
- N47 56.508 W124 39.025 — 1.6 miles : Hole in the Wall
- N47 56.785 W124 39.535 — 2.1 miles : End of cove past Hole in the Wall
- N47 56.952 W124 39.690 — 2.5 miles : Round rugged headland
- N47 57.053 W124 39.720 — 2.65 miles : Travel moderates over tidal flats
- N47 57.408 W124 39.921 — 3.1 miles : Round headland into big cove
- N47 57.460 W124 40.024 — 3.3 miles : Milder conditions in big cove
- N47 57.736 W124 39.808 — 3.75 miles : Improvised inland trail
- N47 57.803 W124 39.847 — 3.85 miles : Return to beach
- N47 57.890 W124 40.335 — 4.3 miles : Begin rounding Cape Johnson headland
- N47 57.961 W124 40.534 — 4.5 miles : Additional rock piles at high tide
- N47 58.073 W124 40.610 — 4.68 miles : Tip of Cape Johnson
- N47 58.115 W124 40.326 — 4.9 miles : Big cove with beach
- N47 58.384 W124 40.462 — 5.25 miles : Headland
- Always carry - and know how to use - a tide table, topo map, and watch when hiking the Olympic coast. Many points north of Rialto Beach - including Hole in the Wall - are only passable at low tide. Passable points on the way out may not be safe on the return, and it's possible to become stranded.
- Tide tables are available at visitor centers and coastal ranger stations. Red and black symbols mark departure points from the beach on headland - overland trails where it's unsafe to continue on the beach.
Camping and Backpacking Information
- Permits are required for all overnight stays in Olympic National Park. Contact the Wilderness Information Center (360.565.3100) for backcountry camping reservations, permits, and trail conditions. Visit the WIC: 600 East Park Avenue, Port Angeles, WA 98362.
- There's an $8 per person - per night fee to camp in Olympic National Park (children under 16 excluded).
- Rialto Beach is a self-registration trailhead, where you will find forms, permits, and pay boxes.
- There are no quotas or required reservations for La Push - Mora area beaches. Campsites are not individually assigned, but are available to permit holders on a first come, first served basis.
- Camp only in established sites, which are generally located on the forest edge, or on the beach behind high tide lines. These sites are often concealed behind surf log piles.
- Food Storage: Hard-sided containers (such as bear canisters) are required all along the Olympic coast.
- Campfires: Fires are permitted. Use driftwood only.
- Water: Water is available from coastal streams. This water is typically stained with tannins leached from decaying matter in the forest. Filter or boil all water thoroughly. Chemical treatments are not adequate and should not be used.
- A Washington State Fishing License is not required to fish in Olympic National Park except when fishing in the Pacific Ocean from shore. No license is required to harvest surf smelt.
- A Washington State catch record card is required to fish for salmon or steelhead and they must be accounted for as if caught in state waters. Fishing regulations are specific to site, species, and season. Contact the Park before setting out.
- Recreational fishing in freshwater areas of Olympic National Park is restricted to artificial lures with single, barbless hooks (exceptions may apply).
- The use of seines, traps, drugs, explosives, and nets (except to land a legally hooked fish or dip-net smelt) are prohibited.
Rules and Regulations
- There's a $25 fee to enter Olympic National Park ($50 annual pass).
- Dogs are permitted on Rialto Beach north to Ellen Creek, but not beyond. Pets must be leashed at all times. Pets are permitted in campgrounds and must be leashed at all times.
Directions to Trailhead
Rialto Beach is located 12.5 miles west of US 101 on Mora Road in Olympic National Park.
From US 101, turn west on La Push Road and drive 7.7 miles to the La Push - Mora Road split. Bear right on Mora Road and continue 4.8 miles to the trailhead.
La Push Road is located 53 miles from Port Angeles on US 101, just as you're entering / leaving the north end of Forks.
Olympic National Park
600 East Park Avenue
Port Angeles, WA 98362-6798
Visitor Information: 360.565.3130
Road & Weather Hotline: 360.565.3131
Wilderness Information Center and Backcountry Permit Office (WIC)
Mora Ranger Station (seasonal)
Hoh Rainforest Visitor Center
Forks Information Station
360.374.7566 or 360.374.5877
Quinault Wilderness Information Office