COASTAL DESTINATIONS - CAPE ALAVA TRAIL...3.3 MILES
CONNECTS TO: SAND POINT TRAIL CAPE ALAVA TO SAND POINT TRAVELWAY
CAPE ALAVA TO OZETTE RIVER TRAVELWAY
DIRECTIONS TO : OZETTE TRAILHEAD - MILEPOST 242 OR 203
NEAREST CAMPGROUND: Lake Ozette (near trail head, only 14 sites)
RANGER STATION : Ranger station, pay phone, toilets, water
Two trails to the coast begin at Lake Ozette, the Sand Point trail and the Cape Alava trail. These are both mostly flat with minimal elevation gain. Both are nearly continuous wooded boardwalk (cedar plank walkways) through teeming coastal marsh and grasslands. CAREFUL - boards are slippery when wet, WHICH IS MOST OF THE TIME.
Both trails are 3.0 miles and require 3-5 hours and are easy strolls and lead to one of the most beautiful and primitive beaches on the coast ( another 3 mile trail called the Cape Alava to Sand Point Travelway ).
Many people utilize all 3 trails and make a 9 mile triangle. The best method is to hike north to keep the ocean breeze at your back by taking the Sand Point trail and then continue north along the beach and then back to Lake Ozette on the Cape Alava trail. To complete the triangle, the tide must be low.
You will find dozens of Indian petroglyphs at Wedding Rocks, (near the high tide line) ask for the interpretive handout at the ranger station. Along the coast you will see marine life, Ozette Island, and Cape Alava, the western most point in the contiguous United States.
The northern point of the triangle trail is Cape Alava, with a rocky shore and reefs to explore at low tide. Cape Alava is also the site of an ancient Makah village. The site is now closed and marked with a small sign. Be sure to check a tide table and carry the 10 essentials - and lots of film as seals, deer, eagles and perhaps osprey, otters and whales may be there, rain or shine! Avoid vibram-soled shoes as the cedar plank walkway can be slick!
Camping is permitted on the beach, but beware, it's a popular spot in the summer. (There's a permit and reservation required here. Call the Wilderness Information Center.) Current tide chart and weather is posted at the trailhead.