Wreck beach stairs and first time visitors guide
September 1, 2017 12:33 PM   Subscribe

Thinking of visiting wreck beach this weekend for the first time, but my partner is worried about the 400+ stairs on trail six, as neither of us are in great shape. Is it just one long staircase, or are there flat areas to catch your breath? Is it easy to pull off the stairs mid-walk to rest a bit? Also, is it still true that you can hike away from the main party and find a quite spot to read easily, or is that out of date?

So, my girlfriend is up from Seattle this weekend and we wanted to visit a beach. Given it is the long weekend and expected to be hot as blazes, I expect Spanish Banks/Jerico/Kits to be a mess. I've been curious about Wreck for a while, so was reading up on it, and I like how it sounds like you can hike away from the crowd and quietly read. However, almost all the information I can find is pretty old, so I'm not sure if it is still like that, or I'm reading about a now-past golden age.

Also, the guide only talks about trails 5,6,7, noting 5 is long closed due to danger, 6 has 400+ steps and 7 is mostly where gay men hang out and party loudly, so not exactly the best for quite reading in the sun. Is this true of 7 still, or has it gentrified? Also, do trails 3 and 4 exist and are they easier hikes, or is six really our best option?
posted by Canageek to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total)
 
Been a while since I was there but I'm like...98% certain there are landings on the steps.

Wreck beach is a great, quiet beach in my experience. I don't know the trail numbers (always went with people who knew where they were going) but the last couple times I went it was near the Museum of Anthropology (Google tells me that is Trail 3?) and it was super empty (at least one of those times was a summer weekend, although not a holiday weekend). The beach itself is rocky and narrow there, but there's driftwood to sit on and I would judge it a good place to sit and read.
posted by quaking fajita at 12:47 PM on September 1


Thanks Quaking! Were there washrooms in that area at all, or is that the main trail only?
posted by Canageek at 12:49 PM on September 1


I checked with my local contact and it's trail 4 that we usually take, so a little bit further down. That part of the beach is also called Tower Beach. I don't think there are washrooms around there, we usually nip into a building on campus.
posted by quaking fajita at 1:06 PM on September 1


I was looking at Trail 4, as it looked shorter then the other ones. Thanks!
posted by Canageek at 1:13 PM on September 1


I was down there earlier in the summer. There are landings on the main trail (Trail 6) where you can stand off to the side to take a break. The bottom of trail 6 is the only place where washrooms are located.

If you head north once you get to the beach, you can be in a quieter area in about 15 minutes.
posted by vansly at 1:15 PM on September 1 [1 favorite]


There are places to pause on the stairs to Tower Beach (it does not look like one massively long staircase; it winds a bit, and there may even be benches at the pause-points). It is normal to stop for a break on the stairs. Tower Beach should be much less busier than Wreck, which will be jammed with incoming university students at this time of year (especially in the evening).

Note that the 'beach' of Tower Beach doesn't have much sand to bathe on, which Wreck does have. Instead, Tower Beach has a lot of bigger stones -- like 8" to 1' diameter rocks. It's a nice place to sit and have lunch but you may have to work to find a place to lie down.

Beautiful views from Tower Beach.

I don't know anything about Stair 7.
posted by monkeymonkey at 2:09 PM on September 1 [1 favorite]


Thanks all. We took path 6 since we wanted to see the main beach, and my partner is a big fan of sandy beaches. It was a challenge going up, but we made it. However, given how stiff and tired my girlfriend is today, we'll probably try one of your recommendations next time. Thank you.
posted by Canageek at 12:09 PM on September 5


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