Ozette Triangle Trail

MODERATE 30 reviews
#15 of 172 trails in

Ozette Triangle Trail is a 8.7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Sekiu, WA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

8.7 miles 610 feet Loop

kid friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

beach

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

old growth

rocky

scramble

no dogs

From Port Angeles, E 5 miles on US 101 to Highway 112. Right (west) for 49 miles to Hoko/Ozette Lake Rd. Left for 21 miles to the trailhead at Ozette Lake. There is a $15 fee for car entrance.

2 days ago

1 month ago

it was not 8.7 miles, it's about 9.2 miles, but it was awesome, make sure you get a tide table since you can't hike the beach during high tide.

3 months ago

4 months ago

This trail is easy unless you run into a bear, then it becomes moderate.

backpacking
4 months ago

Awesome trail. Mixes in a lot of varied sightseeing... Forest, lake and streams, ocean, and rugged beach. Overnight camp in cape Alva was amazing.

backpacking
5 months ago

These trails are in very good condition. The boardwalks were dry, so I can't speak to how slippery they can get, but they have clearly been replacing the bad portions of it. I was actually bored on the inland trails because the vegetation didn't change much, and the terrain was a few stairs short of wheelchair accessible. The site camping at Cape Alava was a bit too close quarters, but there was plenty of sandy beach for those wishing a little more elbow room. The haystacks were nice to view, and the sunset was pretty behind them. On day 2 I hiked along the beach at low tide to Sandy Point. It was a fast and easy trek, though the fine sand was slightly challenging with 40lbs on my back. This is a great beginner hike or beginner backpacking destination for all ages.
I'm going back this weekend. This time I'll take my son so he can be one of those folks who has fond childhood memories of this beautiful place.

hiking
5 months ago

Awesome trail -- saw bald eagles and a deer and her fawns. Highlight is the walk along the beach -- make sure to bring sunscreen and good hiking shoes, because if you don't make it through the beachfront during low tide you have to do a bit of a rock scramble.

hiking
5 months ago

Went on this hike with my sister. We camped overnight and hiked during the day. A deer came up to our tent. Saw eagles on the stacks, otters, and all kinds of wildlife. I highly recommend this triangle. Make sure you check the tide charts before you do the middle section of the loop-there are some spots where a hiker could get stranded during high tide. And keep an eye out for rock art. We saw a few carvings.

backpacking
6 months ago

Fantastic. The Alava to Sand Point hike is a bit rich in soft sand, but really awesome.

7 months ago

amazing!

7 months ago

Not many visitors during spring break, but it still was beautiful! Don't walk in the dead blue stuff because your shoes will stink for days.

hiking
1 year ago

We did a one-night backpack sleeping a Sand Point here in August 2015. It was my friend's first backpack trip, and it was a good one for her. It's nice and flat, although hiking on the rocky beach is kind of rough going. I recommend doing the beach section of the hike at low tide. At high tide you have to get around the large logs laying on the beach somehow, which is challenging. Wish Creek, which is the water source at the Sand Point camping area, is so low that it doesn't even reach the ocean. The water in it was the color of black tea. The rangers told us that this is caused by tannins in the vegetation surrounding the creek and is not a sign of contamination. But we didn't know that until we returned our bear cans at the ranger station after the trip. It was pretty crowded there even though permits are required. We didn't see any bears or raccoons.

hiking
1 year ago

My sister and I backpacked and camped for the first time and this trail was perfect for us. The most difficult thing was figuring out how to get camping reservations and our passes. You have to fax (old school) a reservation request to Wildlife Information Center and wait to be accepted. Then you have to pick up the pass the day of the trip and the center is in Port Angeles, which is about 3 hours away from the trailhead, and doesn't open until 8:30am. They do let you rent a Bear Can for food storage for 3 bucks, which is cool because those things can be pricey! Because of the awkward size of the bear can, it can't really be strapped to the outside of your pack so we had to move stuff around to make it fit. Luckily my sister is a seasoned backpacker and made it work. We got a later start than we wanted to and decided to head to Sand Point first because we wanted to get the majority of our hike over with on the first day. We did have to be mindful of the tide, because that impacts the trail severely. Our camping reservations were for Wedding Rock. The majority of the trail is on a very well maintained boardwalk, I was impressed. Once we got to the beach it was a bit foggy, but gorgeous. We did see the first and only sea lion of the trip at Sand Point but unfortunately it was dead. We did hear a bunch more near Cape Alava the next day though. We didn't really check out Sand Point because we wanted to hit Wedding Rock and find a campsite before high tide so we wouldn't have to do the overland trails. The wedding rock campsites were awesome. There's only a few and they are not marked very well at all. We got a little confused trying to find them. But when you get to a wooden crate that says welcome to wedding rock, you are there. Our biggest complaint is that we didn't actually see the wedding rocks, we couldn't find them. We didn't know if they were out on the haystacks accessible only at low tide or what. Later we found out that they are at high tide. Our bad, that was literally the only bummer. The bugs weren't bad. The skeeters came out at night but a little repellent did the job. The bugs when your hiking on the beach that are hovering over the seaweed and kelp were a little annoying. Low Tide was very cool because you could go and explore the tide pools. We had never seen so many Hermit crabs and other little crabs in our life. If you like solitude, I suggest camping at wedding rock, but you can't have a fire. If you are a big group or like a bunch of people around you, Cape Alava is good camping for you. Last thing, If you are doing this in one day, give yourself time to take a long break. Hiking on the beach over rocks and in the sand adds some difficulty. Also factor in another at least mile or two of walking if you plan on exploring the tide pools at low tide. It was our first backpacking camping trip and we survived, so I think it's perfect for beginners.

1 year ago

The beach view is awesome. Definitely worth going.

hiking
1 year ago

I lived at Ozette Lake when a youngster. My dad fell trees for a logging outfit and there were houses and a maintenance shop right where you first come to the lake.

Dad and I would hike out to the beach after a storm and collect glass balls. found a lot of the smaller ones but I suppose the larger ones were broken up on the rocks before reaching the safety of the softer sand higher up on the beach. In those times, 54-55, the trail had no planks except for the really muddy places and there was a tin cup hanging on a root for a thirsty hiker at the only clean water spring along the trail. Would go out on the lake and catch a rainbow at times. One time went out and dad and his bud caught a bunch of squawfish and I caught the only rainbow, big deal for a 6yr old.
I remember the old fellow that lived in the small shack in the meadow, Mr. Alstrom. He would come in to the small tackle store, which is long gone, to get some basic needs. I think most of his diet came from meat he would take from the local deer population and what he could catch in the ocean. Now of course his Place is a shrine, the area has been taken over be the government, safety trail board walk, we don't dare get dirty, pay to park, pay to stay, pay to packpack, just pay.

10 stars in the day, now? Is a great place is you live in the city, for one that grew up there, is great to share with folks that never knew it or the folklore as it is with all places special in our country. Of course it is special in my heart, but just like everything else, PAY!!! Odd that I as a kid didn't need government oversight to take a walk through the mud and brush to see what nature had in store for me.

hiking
1 year ago

hiking
1 year ago

This has been one of my favorite hikes in recent memory. While not overly long (it took me about 4.5 hours to complete the loop), it can be a little strenuous. Additionally, a third of the trek requires you to plan ahead. Note, there is a $15 per car entrance fee, with a pay station set up at the Ozette R.S. Backpacking will cost extra.

Firstly, this area is fairly remote. It's a bit of a drive for most people -- for me, it took two and a half hours to drive from my home on the other side of the peninsula. That said, this hike is worth it.

Because this loop is triangular (thus the name), the beginning and ending share the same place. The loop is comprised of two official trails, joined by an unofficial third. The Cape Alava and Sand Point trails both begin at the Ozette R.S., and make up two faces of the triangle. The conjoining path is technically the very last leg of the lengthy Pacific Northwest Trail (or very beginning, since the trail runs east-west).

The two official trails are rather easy. They are both mostly composed of boardwalk, with dirt and gravel periodically stationed throughout. The trail is maintained well, for the most part, but beware--hiking here during the winter and/or spring pits you against a rather slippery boardwalk. Be sure to slow your pace to a crawl when the board is visibly icy. I've heard tell of careless hikers falling, to the painful reward of broken limbs.

The Cape Alava trail is arguably the more interesting of the two wooded paths. At about 2 miles in, the forest breaks for a wide open prairie. This is known as Ahlstroms' Prairie, and was once a homestead and tiny village long, long ago.

No matter which path you select to start out with, after about three miles you'll be greeted by the Pacific. This alone makes the trip worth its while; the beach you are hiking to is one of the most secluded in the state. This also beckons the hardest and more meticulous section of this trail. When you reach Cape Alava, turn south (to your left). If you had started with the southern Sand Point, turn right and head north.

The beach trail -- final leg of the 1,200 mile long PNT -- is less maintained than you'd like. Additionally, portions of it are totally impassable if the tide is in. Be sure to watch your tide chart carefully, and plan ahead before you make the trip out here.

While three miles isn't a bad hike at all, three miles across damp sand, rotten beds of kelp and seaweed, and slippery rocks takes its toll on your feet. At one point on the trail, safety ropes are installed which allow brief access to the bluffs above the beach, should the tide be working against you. While you must practice caution rappelling up and down each side of the headlands, this is also super fun.

About halfway along the coast, keep an eye out for the petroglyph. This site (officially known as Wedding Rocks) features an ancient carving of a person etched into a white-grey boulder. It's faint, but definitely visible. Ponder how many years its seen, given that it predates European settlement in the Northwest.

If you start from Cape Alava, you'll have reached the Sandpoint area when the slippery rocks you've been climbing over suddenly turn into fine sand. Take a moment to rest and enjoy the natural beauty of the area, before making for the Sand Point trailhead. Keep an eye out for a red sign amidst the woods -- this will be your clue as to where the trailhead lies.

Should you start at Sand Point and head north, Cape Alava is fairly obvious. There is a large island just off the coast (Ozette Island), and numerous campsites. Look for a trail leading into the woods.

camping
2 years ago

Spent two days doing this. Definitely worth it. The hike is pretty easy, because it is mostly flat. Be careful on the terrain, though. The boardwalk is slippery when wet--or frosty as it was for me (it's November). I recommend soft soled shoes to give you some extra traction. My trail runners were fine. The 3 miles it takes to get to the ocean are worth it. The beach part of the hike is mainly made up of slick rocks, kelp, and wet sand. The view is stunning. I camped at Cape Alava, and the sunset was gorgeous. It was a bit too chilly for the sunrise. It got down to 26 degrees at night, so if you're going in an off season check the weather.

hiking
2 years ago

My Mountaineer Mob and myself left the Lake Ozette trail head at the NPS Ranger Sstation 12 Juune returned 14 June 2014. Our group consisted of six (6) adults and two (2) children, we hiked the Lake Ozette Loop with 30-50ib packs. Our average speed was three (3) mi. every three (3) hours over board walks as well as the coast; we couldn't possibly do the entire nine (9) miles in four (4) hours as the stated description describes. It was a good time of year to wear lug boots as the board walks were dry.

hiking
2 years ago

Amazing. Was fortunate enough to camp out when it was cloudless and 70 degrees for 2 days. Had an amazing time and saw A LOT of wildlife. The scenery is beautiful. The petro-glyphs were cool, but slightly hidden (you have to explore a little to find out which rocks they are). All in all beach hiking was moderately difficult but the maintained wooden trails were quick and easy.

Totally worth the drive. 5/5