The northwest coast of the Olympic Peninsula, from the beaches of Clallam Bay along Highway 112 to the culturally rich Makah Indian Reservation and down to the rugged beauty of Shi Shi Beach and Lake Ozette, offers a wide variety of unique experiences. Something for everyone isn’t just a cliche here. It’s the simple truth.
For those who love the water, an unforgettable adventure awaits at Clallam Bay and along the Strait of Juan de Fuca. A stay in the fishing village of Sekiu, right on the bay, is a chance to slow down while walking the docks and breathe in the sea air. For generations, anglers have launched their boats into the protected bay in search of record-breaking salmon and halibut. To the north, across the Strait are spectacular views of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. Clallam Bay offers great family adventures such as hiking, camping, birding, beachcombing, diving, kayaking, wildlife watching and just about any outdoor fun that does require waiting in line or at stoplights.
A drive up Highway 112 towards Neah Bay, home of the Makah tribe and the point of Cape Flattery, offers a chance to take in the views of the Strait. Motorcyclists especially appreciate the 249 curves of the road along the coast to Neah Bay. By the late 1700s, the Native American populations of Makahs and Ozettes numbered over 200 in villages near Neah Bay and Lake Ozette. Europeans first visited the area in the 16th century and later established settlements along the coast. Today, the outstanding exhibits at the Makah Cultural and Research Center in Neah Bay offer a look at the early life of the Makahs.
The boardwalk trail to Cape Flattery offers breathtaking vistas with four observation decks where one can see Tatoosh and Vancouver Islands, sea life, and ship traffic. A two mile hike on the southern end of the Makah Reservation leads to pristine Shi Shi Beach. Only accessible by foot, Shi Shi has a special kind of natural setting that attracts those hikers looking to slow down, or perhaps even go surfing.
Down the Hoko-Ozette road to the south along the Pacific Ocean lies Lake Ozette. First settled in the 1800s by Scandinavian immigrants, the area around Lake Ozette was included in the Olympic Forest Reserve. At over nine square miles, Lake Ozette is the largest natural lake in the state of Washington. The Ozette Triangle is a popular 9.4 mile loop from the recently uncovered ancient village of Ozette at the northern tip of the lake, along the cedar-planked boardwalk through wild forests and meadows to Cape Alava, down the primitive beach to Sand Point, and back another cedar-planked trail to Ozette.