Ozette Triangle hike in Olympic National Park, Washington

Ozette Triangle Trail

Olympic National Park
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Driftwood and island on the Ozette Triangle Hike in Olympic National ParkA hole in a rock on the Ozette Triangle Hike in Olympic National ParkIntertidal zone with islands in the back on the Ozette Triangle Hike in Olympic National ParkRock formations on the beach on the Ozette Triangle Hike in Olympic National ParkLooking back from the hill at the south end of the beach on the Ozette Triangle Hike in Olympic National ParkLarge sandy expanses on the Ozette Triangle Hike in Olympic National ParkRocks on the Ozette Triangle Hike in Olympic National Park

Ozette Triangle Trail

Distance: 15.9km
Elevation: 122m
Time: 4.5-6h

Difficulty Rating:

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9.3 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
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The Ozette Triangle is a classic loop hike that will bring you through the secluded northwest section of the park. You’ll pass by weird and wonderful rock formations, enjoy spectacular views over the wild ocean and see a whole new side of the Olympic National Park.

Ozette Triangle Map

Getting there

To get to the start of the Ozette Triangle trail, head west from Port Angeles on US 101 for 7.4km. Turn onto WA-112 W for 78.2km to Seiku. Past Seiku turn left on Ozette Lake Rd. Follow for 34.1km until you reach the parking area.

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About

When to do

Year round

Backcountry Campsites

Yes, on the beach, but be sure to get a permit.

Toilets

Yes, at trailhead.

Family friendly

Yes

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

Low

Route Type

Circuit


Ozette Triangle Trail
Elevation Graph


Ozette Triangle Loop Trail Description

To start the Ozette Triangle loop, head down the main trail from the parking area and cross over the Ozette River. You will arrive at a Y junction where you will turn right to head along the Cape Alava Trail. This path is mostly boardwalks – they are there to protect the sensitive ecology; however, they can be extremely slippery when wet. Take care.

Follow this slightly undulating trail as it heads out for approximately one-third of the total distance of the hike down to the ocean. Finally, you will descend to the sand, just inland from the beautiful Ozette Island.

Once you’re on the beach look back to check out the circular indicator marking the transition from beach to trail. Knowing what these look like will be useful when making the transition back inland.

Begin heading south along the beach. Hiking along the sand or rocks can be difficult and usually takes longer than expected. As you head south you will pass by several very impressive rock formations. On the way down you will see several signs for trails going inland, but these are simply marked as an alternative route for when the tide is high. The real Ozette Triangle trail back inland is just past an immense, grassy mound, at the end of the large bay you have been hiking along.

At the south end of the beach climb up the grassy mound, called Sand Point, to get some impressive panoramic views of the beach on either side. The trail back to the parking lot is just south of Sand Point, a few hundred feet down the next beach.

Return along the North Sand Point Trail all the way to the parking area, along even more boardwalks!

Hiking Trail Highlights

Lake Ozette

Ozette Lake covers almost 30 square kilometers and is the largest unaltered lake in Washington State. Indeed, the indigenous Ozette Makah peoples called the lake ‘Kahouk’, meaning ‘large lake’. However, it’s also a curiously deep body of water, reaching a depth of over 100m, meaning its bottom lies a long way below sea level.

The beautiful, unspoiled landscape around Lake Ozette is an important wildlife habitat. The lake itself sustains a healthy population of fish, including trout, bass, perch and salmon, and many threatened bird species. Hiking here is incredibly peaceful – humans have left few traces in this tranquil spot, so you can really enjoy the elements and wildlife as you walk.

That said, the lake is now a popular spot for boating, fishing, hiking, and even wild swimming! However, the expansive waters provide plenty of space for exploration, and you’re unlikely to feel crowded out, even in the peak of summer.

The Pacific Ocean

One of the real highlights of this trail is the chance to walk alongside the mighty Pacific Ocean, on a dramatic, rocky beach studded with strange rock formations. Don’t miss the ‘cannonball’ rocks near Cape Alava, almost perfectly-spherical rocks carefully sculpted by the water over thousands of years.

You should also look out for the so-called ‘Wedding Rocks’ on the beach, a series of tall, dramatic rocks marked with ancient petroglyphs. The views over the wild ocean here are very impressive, and the rugged coastline will make you feel as though you are in an ancient wilderness, shaped by the elements over millennia.

Check out more amazing hikes in the Olympic National Park, like the Hoh River Trail.

Insider Hints

  • Be sure to consult the tide table, and try to do this hike when the tide is low. The trail is passable when the tide is high; however, having the entire beach to explore is a nice treat.

  • Bring shoes or boots with stiff soles as the hard rocks can make the soles of your feet very sore.

Comments

Sally S. Norbert 1 month ago

I highly recommend this hike. So beautiful!

9.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
5h 30m Time Taken
Lambert O 2 months ago

This loop starts as a 3 mile boardwalk, through a lush forest full of wildflowers, interesting slugs, and wonderful woodland scents!! Amazing!

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
5h 15m Time Taken
Suzy TQ 2 months ago

Beautiful trail system with gravel, boardwalk, stairs. This is one of our favorite hikes to the ocean.

9.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
5h 30m Time Taken
Jellybean 2 months ago

If you are looking for an interesting and somewhat challenging beach hike, the Ozette Loop is a great experience! It's beautiful, and very peaceful.

9.0 Overall Rating
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Physical Difficulty
5h 00m Time Taken
Stewart Graham 2 months ago

Lots of wildlife! The two sides of the triangle are rich with luscious greenery. The northbound trail was interspersed with occasional grassland terrain. The southbound trail had plenty of moss carpet on the trees, and amazing, elaborate moss takeover all over!

10.0 Overall Rating
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footfall 2 months ago

Easy and refreshing hike with beautiful greenery and lots of wildlife leading to the ocean.

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HIllaryPNW 2 months ago

Great place to hike and camp. Wonderful lake.

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John Savage 3 months ago

Trail was decent. A great way to experience the Washington Cost along with the Olympic National Park.

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Tara Green 3 months ago

Amazing trails. loved seeing tall trees, the ocean and so much wildlife

9.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
5h 00m Time Taken
swander23 1 year ago

great beaches, nice hike

9.0 Overall Rating
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17 Comments Show all

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