Ozette Triangle Loop Hike

Ozette Triangle Loop Hike

The Olympic National Park has too many hiking trails to count. Sasquatch’s favorite is the Ozette Triangle. An easy hike for the most part. The trail begins and ends from the ranger station. A short walk into the forest is a junction. We take the Cape Alava trail on the right.

The 3.1 mile Cape Alava trail takes us to the beach. Much of it is on a plank boardwalk off of the forest floor.  

Old Plank Board walk on the Cape Alava trail

I always feel an overwhelming sense of wonder when I see the Pacific ocean peaking through the trees. Out of the forest and onto the wild coast, it takes a few moments to acclimate my footing to the rocky beach. Slowing, taking in the salt air. Then it is to the left along the shore to explore.

As the ocean starts to peek through the forest

The hike along the beach from Cape Alava to Sand Point is 3.2 miles, where we will exit the beach and head back to the ranger station.

The foggy beach on the Ozette trail
Foggy beach hike

What makes the Ozette Triangle hike special?

The beautiful rugged coastline has a history of the indigenous people written on her rocks. The petroglyphs at Wedding Rocks date as far back as 500 years. It is reported that there are over 44 petroglyphs along the rocks and cliffs here. I have never found all of them. The cluster of rocks about half way between Cape Alava an Sand Point are called: The Wedding Rocks. These are where the easiest Petroglyphs to find are. Please respect the petroglyphs as the archaeological artifacts they are!

The most photographed petroglyph along the trail
Orcas and faces

The petroglyphs are believed to have marked village boundaries.

Wander womans favorite Petrogylph. Mommy and baby whale
Petroglyph of a whale and her calf

You come to this part of the Olympic National Park for the wild coast. We encountered more people than before on our last visit. Perhaps the secret is getting out. If you want the hike to yourself, come during the week or avoid the summer months on the weekends.

Eagle petroglyph
Eagle petroglyph

The trail to and from the beach is through a forest of western redcedar, hemlock, and fir. Our last visit was in August and the fog was thick the entire day. Even in middle of summer, remember that it is the Northern Coast and the weather will do as she pleases. Personally we felt the eerie fog made the hike more magical.

What else is there?

  • While in the Neah Bay area, hike Cape Flattery. A short 1.5 mile out and back trail end at the most northeastern point of the contiguous United States.
  • Shi Shi Beach and Point of the Arches is 8 miles round trip and just 200 feet of elevation gain. The first bit can be tough. A uncomfortable climb down the bluff with the aid of a rope. Once your feet are on the ground it is an easy and beautiful hike.

What you need to know

  • Give yourself enough time: We highly recommend giving yourself plenty of time for this experience. The trails out to beach and back were pretty consistent with normal hiking speed, but the beach time
    easily took 2-3x longer than we expected. Go slow, pack a lunch, and enjoy the views.
  • Check the tide tables. Plan to reach the beach at low tide. It is the best time to find petroglyphs and is an easier hike.
  •  Bring a pair of gloves to help with holding onto the rope that was placed to assist you on the few steep overland trails that you may need to use. The rope really doesn’t feel nice on bare hands.
  • Wear proper foot wear and be ready for weather. I have done this hike several times, you never know when it will go from sunny to a rainy cold day. 
  • Only use driftwood for firewood. Do not glean firewood from the forest. Use existing fire rings or build the fire on the beach. This is to protect our beautiful trees from root damage.
  • No pet are allowed. Leave the puppies at home. 
  • #1 Rule – Leave No Trace. Make sure you carry out everything that you bring with you into the area. (Ex. Food, wrappers, bottles, paper, plastics, seeds from fruit, etc…)
  • Help Save the coast. Consider bringing an additional bag/pack with you so that you can help by collecting trash/debris and carrying it back out to trash facilities at the ranger station. For more information visit Coast Savers.
  • There are bear, racoons, deer, and all sort of critters that want an easy meal. All food, garbage and scented items must be stored in a park approved Bear Canister overnight or when unattended. 

Camping

  • Reservations for Wilderness Backpacking is recommended from May 1-September 30th. You will need a permit to camp in the back country. You can obtain a permit from the Wilderness Information Center.
  • If your looking for other options for camping, The Lost Resort is a first come first serve campground. They boast that they have never had to turn anyone away. Surprising perk about at staying here: their little store has beer on tap.
Views of the Pacific Ocean in Olympic National Park.

EV Travel Tips:

Traveling to the Neah Bay/ Ozette area by EV may not be simple if your planning a quick in and out. You will have to plan ahead a bit to make it work. The Tesla Supercharger at Sequim is the last powerful charger heading out to the coast. You will find multiple chargers at Hobuck Beach Resort and The Cape Resort which can be used for longer duration charging, perhaps overnight.

In our case the high speed CHAdeMO at Dan Wilder Nissan was used for ~20 minutes to give us the needed boost. Hopefully Tesla puts a Supercharger in Forks, WA soon, as this would help open up the Olympic Peninsula.

Route plan from A Better Routeplanner

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