Lake Ozette Area Brochure

A map of the Lake Ozette area including Lake Ozette, roads, hiking trails, the Pacific Ocean, boat launches, a camping area, Olympic National Park Boundaries, Ozette Indian Reservation boundaries, and Ozette Ranger Station.
A map of the Lake Ozette area including Lake Ozette, roads, hiking trails, the Pacific Ocean, boat launches, a camping area, Olympic National Park Boundaries, Ozette Indian Reservation boundaries, and Ozette Ranger Station.
 

A Lively Community

As many as 130 homestead families called Lake Ozette home in the early 1890s. Schools, a post office, stores and a church sustained the farming community. Life was hard on this remote tip of the country.

When the area was included in the Olympic Forest Reserve in 1897, most early settlers left. A second wave of settlers arrived after the turn of the century. Vestiges of their homesites remain. On the Cape Alava Trail, hikers cross the prairie where Lars Ahlstrom pastured his livestock.

In 1940, a strip of coast and the Ozette area were included in Olympic National Park. Even as forest gradually reclaims once cleared land, stories of early human residents linger.adually reclaims once cleared land, stories of early human residents linger.

 

Ozette Information

Facilities: A picnic area and accessible restrooms are available..
Camping: Campground is open year-round, but may be primitive with no water, and pit toilet only in winter. A total of 15 sites are available with accessible restrooms nearby.
(No RV hookups.)
Wilderness: Permits are required for backpacking along the Ozette Coast, year-round, and are limited in the Ozette area. Contact the Wilderness Information Center in Port Angeles for more information about permits and reservations at www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/wic.htm. Bear canisters are required for food storage on the coast. Campfires are not permitted between Wedding Rocks and Yellow Banks, including Sand Point.
Regulations: Pets are not permitted on park trails or backcountry areas, including boat-in lake camping, and must be on a leash at all times while in the park. Feeding wildlife is prohibited, for the health of the animals and for your safety.
 
A map of the area around the Ozette Ranger Station, including parking areas, Hoko-Ozette Road, the beginning of coastal trails, and an information kiosk
Ozette Ranger Station area detail map
 

Trails at Ozette

Trails begin behind the Ozette Ranger Station. Check a tide table to best time your beach hiking.
Cape Alava: 3.1 miles of trail, boardwalk and stairs crosses prairie and coastal forest to rocky beach.
Sandpoint: 2.8 miles of mostly boardwalk leads through coastal forest to a wide, sandy beach.
Ozette Loop: Connect the Cape Alava and Sand Point boardwalk trails by a 3.1-mile hike on
sand and rocky beach for a 9-mile loop.

Safety Alert! The boardwalks are very slippery when wet or frosty. Soft soled shoes like tennis shoes or lightweight walkers grip the boardwalk better than stiff hiking boots with hard-lug soles. Take your time and walk carefully.
 

A Culture Unearthed

A storm and serendipity unveiled one of the richest archeological sites in North America. In the mid-1960s, archeologists from Washington State University began excavating 12-foot thick deposits on the sheltered side of Cape Alava. Bone, shell and stone artifacts told of a sea-mammal hunting culture dating back at least 2,000 years. In 1970, a storm surge battered the upper beach and began to erode the bank. Hidden in the clay banks was the story of Ozette life, told by thousands of perfectly preserved artifacts.

Archeologists and students excavated 300-year old longhouses, which had been buried by massive mudslides.Three of five longhouses were fully unearthed and over 50,000 artifacts recovered, many not represented in museum collections. They revealed the details of everyday life in a stable, highly-organized hunting and gathering society.|

The discovery of many whale and seal hunting artifacts illuminated the villagers' dependence on the sea. The village lay close to migratory routes of whales, fur seals and other sea mammals. Offshore reefs and islands offered protection from the pounding surf, and provided easy passage for canoes.

The site has been filled and revegetated, but a tribal plaque is displayed on a small replica longhouse. You can see many of the artifacts and learn about the culture at the Makah Museum in Neah Bay.

Last updated: October 25, 2021

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Mailing Address:

600 E. Park Avenue
Port Angeles , WA 98362

Phone:

360 565-3130

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