For a feast of feathered friends and other wildlife, head to the northwest tip of the Olympic Peninsula where the Strait of Juan de Fuca joins the Pacific Ocean. The Cape Flattery area on the Makah Reservation near Neah Bay offers an eyeful for avid bird and marine-mammal watchers.
The easy .75-mile hike to the northwestern-most point in the contiguous United States features earthen pathway, cedar boardwalk and wetland-spanning bridges. Take in breathtaking views along the way from four observations decks where you can set your sights on the Pacific Ocean, Strait of Juan de Fuca and Tatoosh Island, a former Makah fishing and whaling camp, sacred place and home to the historic Cape Flattery Lighthouse.
This wild slice of coast offers dramatic sea caves and abundant sea life. Eagles, cormorants, sea otters, octopi and falcons call this complex ecosystem home. Watch for gray whales off the Cape and sea lions on Snake Rock just east of Tatoosh Island.
In summer, Makah interpreters along the trail share the historic and cultural significance of the area and traditional uses of native plants.
There’s no fee to hike the trail, but you’ll need to purchase a Recreation Permit specifically for parking, available at several Neah Bay locations including the Makah Museum