NorthBeachVacation.com
COPALIS GHOST FOREST
The banks of the Copalis River features one of the best examples of a "ghost forest".  This was a forest
of red cedars and spruce trees killed by a massive earthquake on January 26, 1700.  The 9.0 earthquake
caused the land to subside and the forest to become flooded by saltwater.  A "Friends of the Copalis
River" group is planning a boat launch and nature trail out to the site.  Right now, you can only reach the
ghost forest by canoe or kayak from an informal launch site in the middle of the town of Copalis Beach.

What you will see are tall, dead tree trunks left standing these past 300 years.  These dead trees stand
out alone over a low grassy area.  The current live forest stands considerably back from the river.

The year 1700 earthquake affected the entire Washington coast.  A Makah village was buried under a
mudslide by the same event.  Artifacts from the site can be seen at the Makah Museum at Neah Bay.

Higher up the river is the remnants of a bridge with no signs of human activity on either side.  It must have
been left over from logging activity.

We traveled by kayak as far up the river as possible - about two miles from town.  The forest eventually
closes in on the river and blocks it with fallen trees.

Makah Museum
http://www.makah.com/mcrchome.htm

Projects of the North Beach Community Improvement Association
http://www.nbcia.org/projects/projects.shtml

Copalis Ghost Forest on NwNature.net
http://www.nwnature.net/earthscope/copalis.htm

by Bob Kelly
bobkelly1964@yahoo.com
http://www.BobsPacificBeachHouse.com
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