We stopped first at the Mora Ranger Station where our doggy, Sadie, earned her Bark Ranger badge. Honestly, this is just too darn cute. Olympic has a program for dogs visiting the park. A volunteer with the National Park Service read the Bark Ranger rules while Sadie sat and patiently listened (looking around and not knowing what the heck was going on!) Here are the rules:
- B = Bag your poop (always have your human collect and dispose of your waste)
- A = Always wear a leash (and don't let your human leave you unattended)
- R = Respect wildlife (don't harass or harm wildlife by making noise or chasing them)
- K = Know where you can go (Bark Rangers are permitted in parking lots, campgrounds, picnic areas, roads and Pet Permitted trails)
Rialto Beach is another one of the areas in the park where dogs are permitted. It had been an overcast day with some rain in the morning, but by the time we got to Rialto the sun was shining. Going to the beach in this part of the country is not about soaking up some rays, but more about making sure you are dressed warmly enough and have the right footwear (sneakers or even hiking boots) to enjoy a stroll along the coastline.
As with other beaches in the area, large and small logs, that wash down the creeks and rivers from the forests to the sea, are found here.
We found the perfect place among some logs for our picnic lunch and to enjoy the sound and sights of the surf.
The beach is very rocky here. When the water recedes after each wave the sound of the water on the rocks makes a beautiful sound; never heard anything like it.
As we walked down the beach we saw several majestic bald eagles in flight. John spotted two (presumably mates) in a tree (near Ellen Creek) along the coastline who were patiently surveying the area for food. One was near the top of the tree. My pictures aren't that great, but it was still a thrill to capture photos of these beautiful animals in the wild.
The second eagle was near the middle section of the tree.
Sadie had a quick run in the surf. Here's what a happy doggy looks like!
About 1.5 miles north of Rialto Beach are Wilderness Camping sites (permits required) along the coastline. Fires are permitted on the beach using driftwood (no wood gathering in the forest). We saw several couples/families hiking back from an overnight stay. Bear canisters are issued (and then returned) when you get your permit. We are no longer that adventurous preferring to go back home to our home (motor coach). But it looks like a fun adventure nonetheless.
As we were preparing to leave for the day, the mist was beginning to shroud the sea stacks.
It was a lovely afternoon in a beautiful and picturesque setting.
There is no admission fee to Rialto Beach and/or the Mora area of the park. For additional information about Olympic National Park, visit the website below.