Copalis Beach, Washington
Copalis Beach is a coastal community where the Copalis River greets the sea.
it is the perfect escape to relax. A leisurely stroll on the beach, a campfire, storm watching or a book and a cozy fire in your cottage
are the romance that keeps visitors returning to Washington’s Best Kept Secret. Or, if you prefer, you can exert some energy by surf fishing,
surf kayaking, hiking, digging for Washington’s famous razor clams, or by taking a day trip to the Quinault Rain Forest and the Olympic
National Park. North Beach, experience it for yourself.
Copalis National Wildlife Refuge
Copalis Refuge consists of a portion of 870 islands, rocks, and reefs extending for more than 100 miles along Washington's Pacific coast from Cape Flattery to Copalis Beach. These islands are protected from human disturbance, yet are close to abundant ocean food sources.
They are a vital sanctuary where 14 species of seabirds nest and raise their young. During migration the total populations of seabirds, waterfowl, and shorebirds may exceed a million birds. Sea lions, harbor seals, sea otters, and whales may also be seen around the islands. Most of the coastal islands are designated as wilderness.
Getting there - Located over 100 miles of Washington's Pacific coast from Flattery Rocks south to Copalis Beach.
These islands are closed to the public in order to protect seabird nesting sites. Islands can be viewed from coastal highway or ocean beaches.
The Copalis, Flattery Rocks and Quillayute Needles refuges, part of which are designated as the Washington Islands Wilderness, are closed to
visitation to protect wildlife and other natural, cultural, and/or other resources consistent with the conservation purpose(s) of the refuges.
Copalis Beach airport
Copalis Beach is the only costal city with the airport actually located on the beach.
The runway is the 4500 foot stretch of ocean beach from the Copalis River on the south to the rocks a mile north. The clam digging is excellent, and resting or watching the great Pacific Ocean from here is fantastic. You can surf, fish, hunt for glass fishing balls, or find interesting pieces of driftwood. No camping is allowed at the airport.
Since the runway is the beach itself, there are some things to watch out for. First, land only on the damp sand; the dry sand is very, very soft and dangerous. The airport is generally unusable at high tide since the runway is under water. The available parking area will also be under water, so remaining overnight can cause definite problems to an aircraft. Usage is very high during periods of low tides. As many as 75 aircraft have been reported as being parked there at one time. Ground vehicle and pedestrian access is legal, so the area can be extremely congested. Since the ocean washes the runway twice a day, debris and driftwood are possible. Overflight is essential to inspect for pedestrians, vehicles, animals, and debris. Remember, people on the ground can not hear the airplane with the power off, so be ready to go around. The airport is generally open year round.