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Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own." - Charles Dickens

Cape Flattery Trail

Parent Category: Hiking
in Coast
Created: 27 August 2015
Location: Olympic Peninsula
Roundtrip: 1.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 200 feet
Highest Point: 250 feet
GPS Coordinates: N 48 23.064 W 124 42.942
Visitor’s Information:

Makah Recreation Pass Required

Pictures below will take you on a virtual tour through the picturesque scenery provided by the trail. Enjoy the views!

 Photo from Cape Flattery Trail, Coast of the Olympic Peninsula
General Information:

Cape Flattery is one of the brightest gems in the crown of the Olympic Peninsula. It belongs to the Makah Reservation and is the most northwestern point of the United States (its continental part). 

Cape Flattery is also considered to be the oldest place in Washington State which name wasn’t changed since the day of its naming. According to historic reference, James Cook depicted and named the cape on March 22, 1778.

Photo from Cape Flattery Trail, Coast of the Olympic Peninsula

The Cape Flattery Trail will lead you to this amazing place, giving you a chance to admire the striking vistas of Cape Flattery, Neah Bay and the Pacific Ocean.

This relatively short trail (1.5 miles roundtrip) is mostly a boardwalk made out of cedar planks, which saunters down the hill to the Neah Bay.

The trail is really clean and well maintained. The hike is considered to be moderate, but boardwalk makes it easier and suitable for people of different ages. That’s why the trail can be quite crowded, especially during summer months.

Photo from Cape Flattery Trail, Coast of the Olympic Peninsula

The first part of it runs through an old growth forest full of Sitka spruce mature trees, some of them having a bizarre shape.

There are four viewpoints along the trail, which provide the hikers with unique, fascinating views of the Flattery cape, sea stacks, some small coves and caves. 

If you are patient and attentive you can see numerous representatives of fauna here. Otters, sea lions, whales…where else can you see them in such proximity? And that’s not to mention a huge variety of birds you can find here: puffins, eagles, hawks, guillemots, murres, oystercatchers, and many others, some of them nesting on the cliffs, others just having rest while migration to other places.

Photo from Cape Flattery Trail, Coast of the Olympic Peninsula

The last viewpoint on the trail overlooks the Tatoosh Island. It was named after a Makah chief, and has always been a place to stay and camp for Makahs during their seasonal fishing and hunting trips. Later in 1857 a lighthouse was built here. At that time it was the third lighthouse on Washington’s Territory. 

Nowadays, if you want to access the Tatoosh Island, you must get a written permission from the Makah tribe.

Photo from Cape Flattery Trail, Coast of the Olympic Peninsula

A Makah Recreation Pass is needed for this hike. (It can be purchased in several places; two of them are Makah Museum and Washburn’s General Store, which are on the way to the trailhead).

Some additional trail features:

- restrooms (at the trailhead);

- parking lot (only for day parking);

- some picnic tables near the last viewpoint at the end of the trail.

These pictures were taken in February, 2015

Driving Directions:

From Port Angeles: 

Drive 5 miles US 101 west for about 5 miles, then on the junction with State Route 112 turn right. Then drive for about 64 miles to the community of Neah Bay. Past the Makah Museum and Washburn. Drive west on Bayview Avenue for 1 mile, look for the signs for "Cape Flattery and Beaches". Take a left turn to Fort Street, and in 0.1 mile take a right turn to 3rd Street. In 0.1 mile take a left turn to Cape Flattery Road. In about 7,5 miles you will be at the trailhead.


GPS Coordinates:N 48 23.064 W 124 42.942

In order to get directions click on the map below:


Photo: Roman Khomlyak

Photo Editing: Juliana Voitsikhovska

Information: Svetlana Baranova

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