Cape Alava Trail is a 6.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Clallam Bay, Washington that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and camping.

Length6.9 miElevation gain580 ftRoute typeOut & back
CampingHikingBeachForestLakeRiverViewsWildlifeFee
Description
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Olympic National Park charges a fee to enter. Fees are per vehicle or per motorcycle. If you are entering on foot or bike the fee is per person. You can also purchase a park-specific annual pass. Please visit the park website for current rate information. The Cape Alava Loop is a forest stroll and a walk on the beach. Take the Cape Alava Trail out to the beach and back. Start your hike at Lake Ozette. Cross the Ozette River on a beautiful arched bridge and away you go. At 0.25 mile, come to a trail junction and stay right—the trail to the left will be your return trail if you choose to make a complete loop. Before long, your trail becomes a beautiful cedar boardwalk through dense forest of western red cedar, licorice ferns, salal, and other evergreen varieties. Use caution on the boardwalk if wet or icy, as the planks can occasionally become slippery. The elevated path gently meanders through the understory, gaining little elevation as you continue onward. Pass through an area called Ahlstrom’s Prairie at 2.25 miles. At 3.3 miles, arrive at the beach and enjoy the views and creatures that live in this isolated place.

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Reviews (254)
Photos (437)
Activities (278)
Completed (479)
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Mandi Drohman
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Hiking

The two legs of the trail were pleasant but the beach was a slog. I went clockwise so the sun would be at my back as I made my way up the coast. Smells like rotting seaweed because, well, it’s covered in rotting seaweed. Also lots of trash on the beach, I was relieved when that part of the hike was over.

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B Gates
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Hiking

Boardwalk access in either direction makes it easy to hustle to/from the beach. I’ve only ever done the loop counterclockwise- heading to Cape Alava from the fork. As of April 2021, sand point trail has had multiple boardwalk sections freshly replaced (thank you!) but still has some rough patches- watch your step on damp days! The 3 mile stretch of beach is my favorite (easily accessible) beach in all of the pnw. While Ozette’s remote location keeps it off the “day trip” list of most out-of-towners, we were excited to see multiple groups with kids and teens going out for overnight camps. Bring a bag and pack out a couple dozen washed up plastic bottles - there’s plenty to choose from.

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Nicole Walsh
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HikingGreat!
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Calvin Wheeler
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Hiking

Ok, let’s start by talking about that rope climb and repelling part! What the heck! Windy, rainy still fun! But again, that rope climb part was brutal! Be careful there! Some of the rockier parts were pretty slippery, just take it easy and you’ll be fine. Totally enjoyed this trail, and I love an angry ocean!

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Kim Wheeler
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Hiking
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A G
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Hiking
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Kali Taylor
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RunningBlowdownGreat!Muddy

Did a trail run and it was great, boardwalks can be slippery when wet but if you have good shoes you’ll be fine. Only saw a small family and one other person the whole time. The beach was beautiful you can definitely see evidence of bear and elk in the area although we didn’t see any, just tracks and a few fish mouths. Trail was in great shape with about 3 or 4 blow downs.

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Q Lee
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HikingGreat!
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Susannah French
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Hiking

Beautiful trail. A bit slippery on board walks. Very wet. But really lively and not too strenuous.

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Eric Armstrong
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Hiking
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Hannah S
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Hiking

Incredible! Long but not much elevation. Slippery boardwalks and walking on the sand for so long was tough but so worth it! Definitely check for low tide. Saw a bear, eagles, and deer!

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Gabby Boyer
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Hiking

Tides were too high to do the third section. I trail ran, so I still had time to do pity sides. Beautiful ocean views!

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Lindsay Powers
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Hiking
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Jake N Kristin Pool
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Hiking

Gorgeous! Saw momma bear and two Cubs on the beach. We sat on a rock on the beach and watch her go by, feeding and looking for food in logs. Magical

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Rich O
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Backpacking
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Thomas Vilmer
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Running
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Marc Maier
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Hiking
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Jill Zeng
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Hiking
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terry McCarthy
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Hiking
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Taylor Brown
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HikingGreat!

Easy walk along boardwalks. Forest is okay, but the beach smells bad and there are tons of sandflies and seaweed.

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Gerardo Paleo
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Hiking
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Callie Sorensen
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Hiking

Amazing day! Left our tents at S.Sand and walked just past Alvara then did the Ozette Loop thru the magical mossy forest! Keep an eye out for bald eagles, bears, coyotes, deer and the carcass of a huge seal! Super magical oh ya! And you can go for a swim in Ozette lake too!

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Chris Chappell
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Hiking
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Eden M
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Hiking
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Eden M
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Hiking
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Mira Vane
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Hiking
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Katlyn Suttle
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Hiking

Need a pass. Lots of bridges and steps. Side trails are good but the beach side was exhausting. No trail and have to maneuver through rocks and water. Kinda hard to find where the trail starts again and lots of flies. Watch out for bear poop!

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Brian H
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Hiking

Great views and the other reviews are correct about the numerous flies, odors and Dead Sea lion but overall worth it and nice boardwalk through the forest.

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