Lake Ozette by Water



  • For the most up to date information about how to obtain a Wilderness Permit, visit our Wilderness Reservations page.
  • All food, garbage, and scented items must be stored—overnight and when unattended—in park-approved Bear Canisters along the entire Olympic National Park Wilderness Coast, including the shoreline and islands of Lake Ozette.
  • Campfires are prohibited between the headland north of Yellow Banks and the headland at Wedding Rocks, including Sand Point.
  • High winds and 1-2' waves are common on Lake Ozette. Always wear life jackets. There have been a number of cold-water drownings in Lake Ozette.
  • Cold Water is a constant hazard for water enthusiasts. Canoeists, kayakers, and other boaters should wear wet suits or other thermal clothing in case of accidental immersion.
  • Pets, use of weapons, and wheeled devices are prohibited on coastal beaches and trails.


Ecosystem type: Coastal temperate rain forest and freshwater lake
Launch Sites: Ozette Ranger Station, Swan Bay
Unique features: Lake Ozette is the third-largest lake in Washington. The lake offers backcountry camping to kayakers, canoeists, and other boaters.
Level of difficulty: Easy to difficult, depending on winds
Distance: Approximately 4.0 miles to Ericson's Bay camp
Elevation change: Lake is 32 feet above sea level
Best Season: July through October (least windy and warmest water)


Group Size Restrictions: Groups are limited to no more than 12 people. Associated groups of more than 12 must camp and travel at least 1 mile apart and may not combine at any time into a group of more than 12.
Campsites: Primary destination is Ericson's Bay camp. A few other small sites along the lakeshore and islands are available. Please make sure to camp on pre-existing bare ground and not on vegetation.
Toilet Facilities: Pit toilets are available at Ericksons Bay. In other areas bury waste 6-8" deep and 200 feet from campsites and water sources. Consider packing out human waste from Tivoli and Garden Islands using Wag Bags.
Water Source: Most coastal water sources have a tea-stained appearance. The light tan color originates from tannin leached from leaves. Cryptosporidium and giardia exist in coastal lakes, streams, and rivers. Always filter or boil water. Iodine is ineffective against cryptosporidium.


Special Concerns

Leave No Trace: Practice Leave No Trace principles during your stay to protect vegetation and other wilderness resources. Camp in preexisting sites or on sand to prevent damage to vegetation.
Fires: To protect coastal forests, please burn only dead and down wood. Firewood is very scarce in and around most lakeshore sites. Please consider not having a fire. Never cut live trees.



  • Lake Ozette can change from calm and tranquil to very windy quickly. Life jackets should be worn at all times while on the water. Waves several feet high are common during high winds.
  • Cold water is a constant hazard for water enthusiasts. Canoeists, kayakers, and other boaters might consider wearing wet suits or other thermal clothing in case of accidental immersion.

Last updated: September 13, 2022

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