Beach Safety & Driving

Photo by Drew Foster

Beach Safety

Play it safe at the beach. Follow these important guidelines while exploring the Washington coast.


No Swimming

Swimming in the ocean is not recommended on the Long Beach Peninsula, even on calm days.

  • Lifeguards do not patrol the beach.
  • The ocean currents are strong and dangerous no matter the time of tide. You cannot swim against these currents.
  • Wear a life jacket when playing near the water’s edge.
  • Stay away from logs in the surf or wet sand.
  • Our average water temperatures range from the mid-40s to the mid-60s. These temperatures can cause hypothermia.
  • Do not attempt to rescue someone in the ocean. You will likely become a victim yourself. Call 911 and stay there!
  • Never turn your back on the waves. Sneaker waves are powerful waves that come high up on the beach without warning.
  • Keep a close eye on your children.

Beach Fires

  • Campfires must be smaller than 4 feet on each side and 3 feet in height.
  • Campfires must be 100 feet west of the dune line. Fires and barbecues are not allowed in the flammable dune grass area.
  • Do not build a fire if it is windy.
  • Do not throw explosive material, including glass, into the fire.
  • Supervise children closely.
  • Report illegal fires.
  • Pack out your garbage.
  • Drench and bury your fire to extinguish it before you go.

Sand Dunes

  • Do not dig caves in the dunes. Tunnels and caves will collapse and bury you.
  • Be cautious near dune cliffs and vertical dune faces.

Rock Cliffs and Jetties

Assume all cliff edges and rock jetties are unstable.

  • Large portions of rocks are known to break away. Cliffs and rocks are not suitable for climbing.
  • Jetties and Fisherman’s Rock in Beards Hollow are susceptible to rising tides.
  • Wear proper footwear and stick to the trails when hiking.


  • Stay away from wildlife, dead or alive. Leave wildlife alone.
  • Stay at least 100 yards away from seal pups so the mother will return.
  • Federal law prohibits touching, feeding, and disturbing marine mammals.
  • Whales (dead or alive) are protected. Dissecting, dismembering, or removing parts can spread disease and is against the law.
  • Intentionally running over seabirds or other animals is against the law.
  • In case of emergency, the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife can be contacted through 911.
  • If you see an injured or distressed marine mammal, call the Marine Mammal Stranding Network at 206-526-6733 ext. 1 or local authorities at 360-642-3078.

Sunbathing and Picnics

  • Pack out your garbage.
  • Do not set up a picnic on the hard packed sand where the vehicles drive.
  • Do not set up at the end of a beach approach.
  • Do not bury people in the sand or build a sand castle in a high traffic area.
  • Do not do anything in the main traffic area that you would not do in the street in front of your house.
  • From April 15 until Labor Day, sections of the beach are closed to motor traffic. This includes the section of beach from the Seaview Approach to the Bolstad Approach in Long Beach and the area north of the Oysterville Approach. Benson Beach and Waikiki Beach in Cape Disappointment State Park are closed to beach driving year round. These places are ideal for pedestrians, sunbathers, and picnickers.


Dial 911 for emergencies and stay where you are. Do not attempt rescues yourself.


Beach Safety & Driving
  • Driving on the beach is NOT recommended, especially if you have not driven on the beach before. Do so at your own risk.
  • Do not drive in the sand dunes.
  • 4-wheel drive is STRONGLY recommended.
  • Rules of the road apply – no donuts or reckless driving.
  • The speed limit is 25 MPH.
  • You must be licensed and insured.
  • No ATVs on the beach. PERIOD. See Pacific County WATV/ORV use map.
  • Stay ON hard-packed sand.
  • Stay OFF clam beds and soft “sugar” sand.
  • Be aware of tides.
  • Be aware of pedestrians, pets, wildlife, seal pups, and debris like large logs.
  • If you become stuck, expect tow fees to be at least $100.

Areas Closed to Vehicles Apr. 15 – Labor Day

  • Seaview to Bolstad beach approach
  • North of Oysterville approach (area north of the point is closed year-round)

Do NOT camp on the beach or at beach approaches. For information on RV parks and camping check out our places to stay page.

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