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Topic: Third Beach to Hoh River Trail (South Coast Trail< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 09 2012, 3:15 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Greetings from Europe!

We are interested in the following trail:

http://www.backpacker.com/2007/ripngopdfs/June10/HohRiver.pdf

1. Backpacker suggests that the above trail is strenuous although it is only 16 miles / flat coastal walking. We aim at walking the trail in 3 days. Should be "easy" rather than "strenuous".

2. Any idea how crowded will be the Mosquito Creek and Toleak Point campgrounds (period: mid-week in August)?

3. Why do we need gaitors?

4. Any particular challenges or recommendations for an experienced hiker family (kids are 14 & 15 yrs old)?
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 09 2012, 5:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've only done a few miles of this one, as a dayhike. Here are the challenges:

- Tides! You must have a tide table on you. The beach portions can be narrow, with cliffs to the side. At high tide, some of those beaches could be underwater, which can hamper progress as you get around...
- ...Headlands. You will frequently have to get around these by clambering up muddy hillsides. Rope ladders will aid progress. This also means that the hiking isn't all flat.
- You'll have to wade through a couple of streams that make their way to the ocean. I presume the gaiters were recommended for this (though the streams are probably too deep for just gaiters), or for keeping your foot gear free of sand...?

However, you get to see this:

Third Beach: Fern garden

Taylor Point: Drapes

Second Beach: Twilight


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 10 2012, 2:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thks for your email.

Yes, tides slow down the progress but do not make the hike more strenuous.

The same applies to streams.

However, headlands are certainly challenging but we are not talking about high elevation gains, or?

Nice pics, we look forward.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 10 2012, 5:02 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

No high elevation gains; not strenuous at all, in my opinion. The headlands don't have significant gain, but when I went I had a cold, which morphed into the worst ear-ache I've ever experienced, with the constant up and down! :D

The rope ladders can be muddy, but are more fun than difficult.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 11 2012, 3:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The thing that can make it strenuous is sand and gravel-walking.  Walking miles through dry sand can be tiring, much moreso through pea-gravel, or worst, miles of bowling-ball sized "ankle breaker" rocks.  I can do a 15-mile day easily on trails without feeling I worked hard... 15 miles on the coast can be exhausting (we did do one 15.3 mile day there, and yes, it was exhausting).

However, I wouldn't necessarily call that segment "strenuous", in fact I'd label it relatively easy in the timeframe you're looking, especially if you're experienced as you say.  I did that stretch a handful of years back (a week from Shi Shi beach down to the Hoh River, catching a shuttle around the Quillayute), and the northern coast (Shi Shi to Rialto) was definitely more pea-gravel, and harder walking than the South where you'll be.  The South coast (from my recollection) was mostly sand, which if you're walking during an outgoing tide is fairly straightforward on the wet sand.  DO get a map with passable tide levels marked at each of the headlands (I'd recommend the Custom Correct Maps for that purpose, none better exist), carry a tide chart, and plan your days accordingly.  Odds are you'll still end up sitting at a headland for a couple hours waiting out a high tide, but no matter.

The gaiter recommendation is probably for the at-times brushy trails heading over the headland crossings.  Personally, whether you bring them is up to you (I probably wouldn't bother if I were planning to do it again tomorrow... but that's just me).

Even in August, if you're there mid-week (NOT on the weekend), the beaches shouldn't be too crowded.  Once you get a half-day away from the trailhead you're likely to see only a handful of small groups a day.  That was my experience there, anyway.

My $.02.  Have a great trip!

- Mike


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 14 2012, 12:52 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Good reply, GoBlueHiker! Merci.

Our mileage is not strenuous (5 miles/day). Not suret yet if we should bring gaitors.
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