La Push, Washington

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La Push, Washington
Unincorporated community
James Island from the beach at La Push
James Island from the beach at La Push
La Push is located in Washington (state)
La Push
La Push
Location within the state of Washington
Coordinates: 47°54′19″N 124°37′34″W / 47.90528°N 124.62611°W / 47.90528; -124.62611Coordinates: 47°54′19″N 124°37′34″W / 47.90528°N 124.62611°W / 47.90528; -124.62611
Country United States
State Washington
County Clallam
Population (2000)
 • Total 371
Time zone Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 98350

La Push is a small unincorporated community situated at the mouth of the Quileute River in Clallam County, Washington, United States. La Push is the largest community within the Quileute Indian Reservation, which is home to the federally recognized Quileute tribe. La Push is known for its whale-watching and natural beauty.

Geography[edit]

The name La Push is from French La Bouche, meaning "The Mouth" of the Quillayute River, adapted into Chinook Jargon.[1] Two well-known beaches are nearby: Rialto Beach to the north of the river mouth and La Push Beach to the south.

La Push has the westernmost ZIP Code in the contiguous United States, 98350.

Sunset in La Push - October 2013

Climate[edit]

La Push has a very wet oceanic climate.[2] The climate is moderated and strongly influenced by the Pacific Ocean, which renders very mild winters for a northerly latitude. Located to the west of the Olympic Mountains, La Push and the surrounding coastline absorb considerable rainfall dropped along the mountain front.

Climate data for La Push, Washington
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 69
(21)
73
(23)
72
(22)
83
(28)
92
(33)
96
(36)
97
(36)
99
(37)
97
(36)
83
(28)
69
(21)
64
(18)
99
(37)
Average high °F (°C) 47
(8)
49
(9)
51
(11)
55
(13)
60
(16)
63
(17)
67
(19)
69
(21)
66
(19)
58
(14)
50
(10)
46
(8)
56.8
(13.8)
Average low °F (°C) 36
(2)
35
(2)
37
(3)
39
(4)
43
(6)
48
(9)
51
(11)
51
(11)
47
(8)
42
(6)
38
(3)
35
(2)
41.8
(5.6)
Record low °F (°C) 7
(−14)
11
(−12)
19
(−7)
23
(−5)
29
(−2)
33
(1)
38
(3)
36
(2)
28
(−2)
23
(−5)
5
(−15)
7
(−14)
5
(−15)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 14.61
(371.1)
10.70
(271.8)
10.83
(275.1)
7.85
(199.4)
5.11
(129.8)
3.50
(88.9)
1.98
(50.3)
2.49
(63.2)
3.82
(97)
10.49
(266.4)
15.52
(394.2)
12.99
(329.9)
99.89
(2,537.1)
Source: [3]

History[edit]

La Push, 14 miles from Forks, is home to the Quileute Tribe. Tribal members traditionally built cedar canoes for a variety of uses; they ranged in size from two-man to ocean-going freight vessels capable of carrying three tons. The Quileute ranked second only to the Makah as whalers, and first among all the tribes as seal hunters. They bred special woolly-haired dogs, and spun and wove their hair into prized warm blankets. According to the stories, the Quileutes only kin, the Chimakum, were separated from them by a great flood that swept them to the Quimper Peninsula on the other side of the North Olympic Peninsula. There they were attacked and destroyed in the 1860s by Chief Seattle and the Suquamish Tribe.

First treaty with European Americans occurred in 1855, when the Quileutes signed a treaty with representatives of Territorial Governor Isaac Stevens. A treaty a year later would have moved them to a reservation in Taholah, but the Quileute territory was so remote that it was not enforced. In February 1889, an executive order by President Grover Cleveland established a one-mile square reservation at La Push. At the time the town had 252 inhabitants. While villagers were picking hops in Puyallup, the town was destroyed by arson in 1889.[4]

Tourism[edit]

Cabin at Resort in La Push
This is a view from one of La Push's cabins at the Quileute Oceanside Resort.

Today, La Push has oceanfront resorts, a seafood company, fish hatchery, and a revamped marina. Since the early 21st century, the tribe has grown more interested in tourism. La Push is a village of the Quileute Tribe that displays a slower, more relaxed way of life. All of the businesses are owned by the tribe. The Quileute Tribe has revived many of its traditional skills and crafts, which are taught at school along with the unique language. It is an isolate language, unrelated to any root language in the world, and one of only five in the world without nasal sounds.

The popular Quileute Days take place July 17–19 in La Push. The tribal celebration of cultural heritage and modern lifestyle includes a fireworks display, a traditional salmon bake, dancing and songs, a softball tournament, and other field sports, a slo-pitch tournament, a horse shoe tournament, arts and craft display, and food concessions.

La Push and the Quileute Tribe are featured in author Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series. The popularity of the books, published from 2005 to 2008, and the related film adaptations, has greatly increased associated tourism to the town.

The Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail passes through La Push on the way to its western terminus at Cape Alava.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Phillips, James W. (1971). Washington State Place Names. University of Washington Press. ISBN 0-295-95158-3. 
  2. ^ "La Push, Washington climate summary". Weatherbase. Retrieved 30 December 2015. 
  3. ^ "weather.com". 
  4. ^ "History". Quileute Nation. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 

External links[edit]