Copalis Rock is an isolated seastack rock just offshore of
Copalis Beach. The next rock like it is ten miles north at
Point Grenville, and there are none to the south through
You reach the rock by driving on the beach - or else by a very
long walk. Enter the beach at the Roosevelt Beach Road four
miles south of Pacific Beach. Stay on the hard-packed sand
at the upper end of the beach. After two miles, you will reach
the Iron Springs Resort, where a stream runs through the
beach. You'll notice the rock one mile further ahead of you.
You could park here, wade across the stream, and walk to
the rock. Or if you judge that the water level is less than half
your tire height, you can drive right across the stream.
Choose the area close to the water where the stream
spreads out, start across at a healthy speed and maintain
the same speed all the way across - don't let a few bumps
scare you into stopping in the middle of the stream.
At high tide, the rock stands up to a quarter mile offshore. At
an extreme low tide you can walk all the way out to the rock
and touch it. The bottom ten feet of the rock are covered in
big purple and orange starfish, anenomes, and mussels.
There are otherwise no tide pools along this coast, so this is
a special opportunity to see these animals. Close up you can
see that the rock resolves itself into about four major rocks
with channels of water running between. A flock of seagulls
always hangs out on the rock. Nearby are some smaller
rocks on the beach you can explore and climb on.
One mile further south is the Copalis State Airport. This is
the only beach airport in the country, where small planes
land right on the sand. The entire facilities consist of a
windsock, some signs ("Elevation 1 foot"), and a guestbook.
The first plane to land in 2008 was on April 1st. In the
summer, it is said, up to 75 planes will land on a busy
Saturday or Sunday.
I got the airport listed on RoadSideAmerica.com:
See also the Washington DOT website:
A bit further south of the "airport" you will reach the Copalis
River. In August I waded easily across the river. The
deserted Griffiths-Priday Ocean State Park lies across it. In
March, the river looked quite deep and my journey ended
by Bob Kelly
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