Located in the northwest corner of the coastal strip, eight-mile-long Lake Ozette is the third-largest natural lake in Washington. A 21-mile paved road heads southwest from Sekiu, ending at the Ozette Ranger Station on the north end of the lake (360/963-2725, open daily in summer, no set hours in winter). This area has one of the most popular overnight hikes along the Olympic coast, and summer weekends attract outdoor enthusiasts. Parking costs $2 per day.
Two trails head to the coast from the ranger station. One leads southwest to Sand Point, three miles away; the other goes three miles northwest to Cape Alva—the westernmost point in the Lower 48. By hiking the beach connecting the two, you can create a triangular loop trip of 9.3 miles. You can also continue south on the beach for 2.3 miles to the Norwegian Memorial, a tribute to the victims of a 1903 shipwreck.
There is much to explore in the Cape Alva area: fascinating tidepools, cannonball shaped rocks, an anchor from one of the ships that ran aground here, and even an occasional Japanese glass ball.
This is probably the best place to see wildlife in Olympic National Park, with bald eagles in the air, deer along the beach, sea lions and seals in the water, and migrating gray whales in fall and spring.
This area contains the largest population of sea otters in the Lower 48; look for them in the kelp beds off Sand Point. The Wedding Rocks area between Cape Alva and Sand Point is well known for its petroglyphs, carved by the original inhabitants of this land at an unknown time. Pick up a handout describing the petroglyphs from the ranger station.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition