There’s a certain mythos ascribed to finding a “secret beach.” The very phrase conjures visions of The Blue Lagoon, Robinson Crusoe, and Treasure Island. It’s deeply sensual, evokes adventure, and promises silent reflection. Year after year, travelers and vagabonds scour the globe to find isolated slivers of sand. Just ask Leonardo DiCaprio — who nailed the giddy joy of arriving at his own private paradise in the movie The Beach and has a secluded resort launching in Belize later this year.
Here in the United States, secret beaches abound. This sounds absurd in a country of 300 million, but our endless stretches of coastline, rivers, and lakes afford us plenty of chances to escape the crowds and bask on the warm sand. With summer ’19 upon us, I asked Uproxx writers to share their favorite secret beaches in the country.
I hadn’t heard of most of their answers, which is an excellent sign.
OZETTE BEACH — OZETTE, WASHINGTON STATE
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Ozette is the very definition of “hidden.” The beach, inside Olympic National Park, is only accessible via a long 9.5-mile loop trail. The wooden boardwalk leads hikers through a dense temperate rainforest to a striking beach and archaeological site. Ozette was once a coastal town that was destroyed in mudslides and earthquakes. That mud acted as a preservation tool and, today, the beach, sprinkled with craggy rock outcroppings, is home to a massive collection of Indigenous artifacts from the Makah Nation. That alone makes this one of the most unique beaches in America.
Getting to Ozette is a mild trek. It’s pretty much flat the whole way in and out. You’ll need to bring wet-weather gear, as it’ll likely rain even in the summer. You’ll also need to get a special permit from the National Park Service to enter the area. There are spots to camp on the beach, but it is 100 percent natural camping. Choose your spot wisely, keeping the weather in mind. Also, you’ll need to bring in everything you’ll need and be sure to pack it out too. There are more classic camping sites, a food mart, and picnic tables up at the Ranger Station at the top of Ozette Lake, where you can make base camp if you’re so inclined.