POINT GRENVILLE (currently closed to non-members)
Amazing Point Grenville is the undiscovered gem of the
Washington coast. It lies on the southern end of the Quinault
Indian Nation, where it is visible in the distance from Moclips
and Pacific Beach. The Quinaults do not promote tourism
especially and a beach pass is required to visit the area, so
Point Grenville remains little visited.
Just south of a bus shelter a short, narrow road leads onto
the beach. You can park here and walk or else drive further
on the hard-packed sand at the upper end of the beach to
avoid damage to the clam beds. The point will be visible
ahead of you about two miles distant.
Along the way you will encounter two 50 foot high rocks
capped with vegetation that stand out on the beach separate
from the nearby cliff. The southernmost of these is easy to
climb on its north side. Somebody has installed a rope on the
other rock to aid in climbing it. From the top of these rocks
the view is slightly improved of the Moclips beach to the
south, the ocean, and the rocks of the Point.
A little further on the rocks at the Point come better into view.
What you thought was a single seastack rock south of the
point resolves into twin rocks. These are topped with
greenery and have many seabirds nesting on top. Far out to
see beyond the Point a giant rock with an arch comes into
Near to the Point the beach sweeps around into a tight
semi-circle. The waves swirl around in interesting patterns
here. A large collection of driftwood is found at this spot
along with some barnacle covered rocks. The area is totally
wild with no houses or sign of development along the cliff.
Point Grenville is marked by a 200 foot high volcanic rock at
the end of the beach. A rough trail leads to the top, where the
view must be magnificent. I was attracted by a six foot high
wall of rock that the point narrows down to before climbing
up again to the high cliff. It's an easy scramble over this wall
and here you drop down into a different landscape entirely.
You are standing in an amphitheater of high rocks. The
beach here is a volcanic gravel versus the fine sand on the
other side of the wall. Ahead of you is a reef of small to
medium (20 foot high) rocks with the large rock with the arch
off in the distance. The water churns fantastically here and
the rocks walls echo every sound. Another arch is visible in
the cliff to the north that marks the end of the beach.
Try to arrive at low tide, when you can walk far out on the
volcanic reef and see around the next point to the north.
You'll notice hundreds of big purple and orange starfish
clinging to the bottom of the rocks.
I've read that Point Grenville has the only volcanic rock
formation on the Washington coast. North and south of it the
cliffs are made of loosely compacted rocks and sand.
You can obtain a beach pass from the tribal administrative
buildings (building B) - the group of modern office buildings
just past the entrance to town on the right along highway
109. On weekends, a pass may be obtained at the police
station: turn left on Cuitan Street from the highway until you
reach the small building with police cars parked outside..
The cost for a one day family pass is $15.
Quinault Indian Nation website:
Point Grenville geography:
Washington DNR: Geography of the Washington Coast
by Bob Kelly
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