Hike to Cape Alava
Washington › N Sand Point Trailhead
Added by Tammy Matixonh
- Distance: 9.4 mile loop
- Minimal elevation gain
- Sun-kissed colored sunsets
- Open horizon sprinkled with sea stacks
- Soft sandy beaches
- Trail is maintained and relatively flat
- Forest, river, board walk trails
Drive along Highway 101 to the most upper-western part of Washington's coast to find secluded beaches
Plan Ahead || Research the location of your trip and check if the timing is feasible. Ozette Lake has an overnight camping quota. Apply in advance to guarantee a spot or stop by the Wilderness Information Center (WIC) to find last minute permits. A "Backcountry" Permit is required for camping. A Northwest Forest Oass is required for parking. Bear canisters are required to keep your snacks safe from wildlife animals. Note: Limited fresh water source
Explore || Drive along Highway 101 to find majestic coastline views and green forested areas. Once you arrive at the trailhead, there will be a large post with information about the parking, the trail, and surrounding wildlife. There's also a fresh water valve, if you need to fill up extra water.
A ranger station is next to the trailhead – highly recommend stopping by and saying "Hi". Also, check out the tide tables so you're informed about low/high tide trends. This is good to know so you can plan your walk/hike on the beach.
Tip: Beach walks and exploration are great during low tide.
Continue onto the main trail, where you will cross a bridge across a fresh water river. The trail is well-maintained and relatively flat. Tall, lush trees shade most of the trail. The trail switches between dirt and boardwalks, which make the journey interesting. Note: The boardwalk can be narrow when passing by backpackers with large packs.
As you near the beach, you'll see the horizon through the trees and hear the waves. Continue to the right across a narrow bridge crossing, then you will find plenty of campsites and two toilets.
Tip: For secluded camp spots, continue past the second toilet towards the beach. Keep walking north towards the sandy part of the beach, where you'll find campsites hidden between the trees along the beach.
There are amazing views of the horizon and sea stacks. The north end of the beach is completely sandy, while the south end is peppered with rocks and tall sea stacks.
The sunset is an unforgettable experience. Once the sun drops below the horizon, vibrant colors will glow against the water. Late night stargazing is a must-do.
- Sleeping bag
- Flip flops
- Tide table charts
- Bear canister
- Backcountry permit (for camping)
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Photography, Swimming, Yoga
Are we missing something?Suggest an edit
ReviewsLeave a Review
Hike To Cape Alava
Amazing hike. One of, if not my favorite hikes, I've ever taken. The hike out to the coast is a little more strenuous than I was led to believe. Carrying a fully loaded pack, the stair steps up and down gave a good workout. But the sound of the ocean and finally seeing our destination was well worth the hike! Definite bucket list destination
More Adventures Nearby
Explore Teddy Bear Cove
Washington / Teddy Bear Cove Parking
On Chuckanut Drive (State Route 11) pull off onto a small, unmarked, one-way road that offers parking for Teddy Bear Cove before quickly rejoining the road.
Backpack to Grand Park in the Olympics
Washington / Obstruction Point Trailhead
The beauty of many of the north coast trails in the Olympic Peninsula is that your car does a lot of the heavy lifting for you.