Washington's Olympic Coast

Washington's rocky, log-strewn shore is no place for beach bums.
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Washington's rocky, log-strewn shore is no place for beach bums.

The Olympic Peninsula's legendary west coast is hardly passive, and its trails aren't exactly a walk in a park, either. Hikers will find themselves scrambling over headlands and across log-strewn "beaches," all the while carefully minding the tide table and having great fun. Weekend visitors have several options, all popular in the summer but much less crowded fall through winter.

RECOMMENDED HIKE: The lovely Ozette-Cape Alava-Sand Point loop hike (9.1 miles) has a summer quota on overnight camping. You'll leave the crowds behind by hiking north from Cape Alava and then fording the mouth of the Ozette River at low tide to get to Shi Shi Beach.

WHERE: Ozette is in the northwest corner of Washington, about 130 mile west (3 hours) of Seattle. Follow US 101 west past Port Angeles to the turnoff for WA 113 north. Pick up WA 112 west and follow it to the turnoff for Hoko-Ozette Road, which leads to the trailhead.

MAPS:North Olympic Coast and South Olympic Coast from Custom Correct ($3.25). Order from the address below.

CONTACT: Outdoor Recreation Information Center, 222 Yale Ave. N, Seattle, WA 98109-5429; (206) 470-4060.