About half an hour drive from Neah Bay, just south of Cape Flattery is a beautiful stretch of sand called Shi Shi Beach. Getting there is a trek. It’s an 8 mile hike over wooden boardwalks, through thick, wet mud and down a steep cliff. Once you actually get to the beach, it’s another good 30 minute walk to Point of Arches across a long stretch of sand.
The hike wasn’t easy and it had Kyla and I sweating a fair amount. I also got the chance to get my hiking boots muddier than they’ve ever been before. One thing that was pretty consistent throughout was the mud. It was unavoidable and oh so fun. The sound of boots squishing deep into the earth is so satisfying to me.
Every twenty minutes or so, the landscape would change drastically. We started the hike in a deep and shadowy forest before branches opened up to the bright blue sky came into view as we crossed over boardwalks floating just above the vegetation. Another part of the forest had taller and thinner trees and the whole forest floor was crowded with ferns.
After a treacherous trek down the side of a hill, grasping tightly onto a raggedy line, we found the edge of the forest. Steeping out, from dirt to sand, the beach expanded before us. There were beautiful rock formations to our left and right.
The walk to Point of Arches on the southern side of the beach was long, but eventful. We passed tons of campers with their pitched tents and other hikers walking along the beach. There were beautiful rocks along the shore. Even the seaweed was beautiful.
We hung around the area where the rocks begin to jut out in formation of Point of Arches for a little bit and then headed about 10 minutes back, where we laid out our towels on the sand and soaked up the beautiful the day. The sky was lacking in clouds and the sun’s rays were welcoming. It’d been a cloudy week, so we were thankful for the beautiful Saturday.
We spent the rest of the morning and the entirety of the afternoon just hanging out in our spot, eating PB&Js for lunch, and getting more and more dehydrated. When it was finally time to hike back, we were exhausted and drained of energy, yet full with a sense of accomplishment.