Moclips is located on the Pacific Coast on the Olympic Peninsula. Popular with beach goers, but not as popular as some of the neighboring communities Moclips offers a relaxing place to stay on the coast and off the beaten path.
Although settled earlier by homesteaders such as Steve Grover in 1862, Moclips was not incorporated until 1905 with the completion of the Northern Pacific Railway and the first Moclips Beach Hotel built by Dr. Edward Lycan. The hotel was a two story, 150 room beachside resort. It burned down in 1905, just months after it was completed. Dr. Lycan then had a new, larger hotel built on the same site. It was three stories high, a block long, it loomed from the dunes. This Moclips Beach Hotel was completed in 1907 and advertised as having 270 “outside” rooms, with 2,000 ft (610 m) of 10 ft (3.0 m) covered veranda, and a perfect view of the Pacific Ocean, reported to be just 12 feet (3.7 m) from the hotel grounds. This close proximity to the ocean, however, would prove its undoing.
Back then Moclips was publicized as a healthy get away from the toil and trouble of city life. It was a health resort. The moist salt air and bathing in the surf was touted as very medicinal. A promotional pamphlet of the time purports Moclips’ climate to be “simply perfect”. Dr. Lycan believed that Moclips was the Mecca for health and pleasure of the Northwest.
Moclips grew into a sizable town with restaurants, hotels, a candy store, theater, canneries, and the M.R. Smith Lumber and Shingle Mill. Many hotels, schools, canneries and shingle mills were quickly built. Four schools once taught children from Taholah to Ocean Shores. Class schedules for the local schools were based on the clamming tides. Two of these buildings exist today.
In 1911 Moclips was struck by a series of fatal storms, eventually washing much of the town away. Moclips Beach Hotel stood in pieces. By the end of 1913, there was nothing left of the hotel. Fires destroyed much of Moclips along the beach. In 1948 a hilltop welding accident destroyed many homes and businesses.
The main attraction of the area is the beach! The beach stretches for 50 miles from Ocean Shores in the south to Point Grenville on the Quinault Indian reservation to the north. Dogs, cars, fires, and fireworks are allowed on this beach - all of which are restricted further north on the beaches of the Olympic National Park. This area is the closest ocean beach accessible from Seattle (via Olympia/Aberdeen).
- Beachcombing is hugely popular along the Pacific Coast, however due to its size and vast expanses between towns it is easy to find your own isolated patch to explore.
- Fishing is popular throughout the area including Razor Clam digging along the coast.
- Horseback riding is popular along the coast with many areas offering access to the beach.
- Surfing is popular along areas of the coast. Some of the areas best beaches are so isolated that surfers can be seen with their boards strapped to their backpacks, another Northwest tradition.
- Whale watching is good along the coast in spring and fall during the Grey Whale migration. Many professional tours are available or check online for recent updates from various whale watching groups.
- Ocean Crest Resort, 4651 State Rt 109, toll-free: 800 684-8439. easy beach access through a thickly forested path.