Cape Alava Trail

photo: On the beach at the end of the Cape Alava National Recreation Trail in Washington state.

Length: 3.30 miles
Loop Trail? No
Type: Backcountry
Agency: National Park Service
Entry Fee? No
Parking Fee? No

Allowed Uses:

Pedestrian - Walking/Hiking/Running

See more details.


Location: In Olympic National Park at Cape Alava near Ozette.
State(s): Washington
Counties: Clallam
Longitude: -124.66898
Latitude: 48.1546

Driving Directions

Driving directions are not available for this trail. Can you provide this missing data?


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 miles and require 3-5 hours and are easy strolls and lead to one of the most beautiful and promitive beaches on the coast (another 3 mile trail called the Cape Alava Trail 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 most western 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, perhaps osprey, otters, and whales may be there, rain or shine! Avoid Vibram sole shoes, as the cedar walkway can be slick!

Additional Details

Primary Surface: Not Available
Secondary Surface: None
Elevation Low Point: Not Available
Elevation High Point: Not Available
Elevation Gain (cumulative): Not Available

Year Designated:

Supporting Webpages and Documents

Website: Washington Trail Assoc.

Contact Information

For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.

Trail management:
Olympic National Park
600 East Park Ave.
Port Angeles, WA 98362



Cape Alava incoming tide at sunset. Photo by Kimball Andrew

Cape Alava incoming tide at sunset. Photo by Kimball Andrew "Kim" Schmidt.


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