The lady at the visitor center said we were lucky. The low tide would be two feet lower than usual and this would give us plenty of time to walk from Rialto Beach along the shore to the hole in the rock. Otherwise you can get there on a longer trail through the forest. We followed her advice and were glad we did. As we walked we kept an eye on the water as the tide began to come in. No need to be on the evening news being rescued by the coast guard.
Although Olympic National Park is centered on Mt. Olympus and the habitat on its flanks, the park includes a few bits of coast , which it shares with the Quileute reservation. Rialto Beach has a magnificent collection of piles of driftwood, much of it huge trees in piles that towered over our heads as we walked. Although the weather continues sunny and calm, the sight of all those storm tossed trees resting on smoothly rounded stones and boulders, made it easy to imagine what the winter storms must be like. When we looked closely we could see rocks and smaller pieces of wood wedged into the deteriorating driftwood by the powerful waves. The rock formations far away in the water were easy to see even though the spray and the difference between the air temperature and the water created mist and bits of fog. As we walked our pace varied with the texture of the rocks and sand beneath our feet. At times it was hard packed; at others we sank in and worked hard to move ahead. But we were compelled to stop regularly to photograph this magnificent place.
As we neared our goal, the hole in the rock, we were joined at the water's edge by beach combing deer. They kept a careful eye on us as they wandered around the rocks licking off the salt. A gull feasted on a jellyfish that had been left behind as the tide retreated.