At the mouth of the Quillayute River in La Push, Washington, past sea stacks and tide pools, one can find Rialto Beach, home to the infamous tree graveyard.
While the beach is mainly known for its striking views of offshore islands known as “sea stacks,” here the remains of grand trees, piled haphazardly atop one another, line the misty shorelines.
Deposited by storms, the uprooted, fallen trees, bleached and scoured bare by the fierce ocean winds, appear quite ghostly. The sand is dark and laden with rocks and stones and a thick white fog, produced from the frothy seas beating against the headlands, seems to permanently hang overhead. Be sure to watch the shores for Japanese blown glass balls, used as fishing buoys.
La Push, located on the Olympic Peninsula, is home to the Quileute tribe. Told in Quileute folklore, the Quileutes are descended from wolves. Quileute folklore is still very much alive in the area of the Quileute Nation near La Push, inhabited by many descendants of the original tribe.
In recent years La Push has seen a dramatic rise in visitors, as the area is featured in the Stephanie Meyer book and film series Twilight, as the home of fictional character, Jacob Black. In the book, Jacob is a member of the Quileute Tribe and has the power to transform into a wolf. Both La Push and the neighboring town of Forks, Washington, were struggling from the collapse of the timber industry until thousands of Twilight fans started making a pilgrimage there in 2009. Largely revitalized by the influx of tourism, La Push and Forks now oblige visitors with Twilight-themed rooms at motels, gift shops, tours, and, of course, merchandise.
Know Before You Go
Rialto Beach is accessible by Mora Road, off of La Push Road.