Brush off your clothes, shoes, boots and backpacks before you leave home so you don’t carry invasive seeds and plants into the wilderness. Be sure that you don’t throw fruit seeds into the woods. Pack them out with you along with all trash and garbage.
Camp in designated sites or on bare ground or sand only. Camping or walking on vegetation will kill it.
Areas or trails marked with rocks, logs or stakes are closed for revegetation. Please avoid these areas so fragile vegetation may recover.
Make sure no one can tell you were there when you leave.
Raccoons and ravens are very aggressive in some of the more heavily used camping areas, particularly the Sand Point and Cape Alava trail head sites. It is now a law that visitors camping on the Olympic Coast from Strawberry Point to the Ozette River must store their food in an air-tight, animal-resistant, hard-sided container with a sealable lid. The food must also be hung at least twelve feet above the ground and ten feet from the nearest tree trunk. Bear containers are recommended, as raccoons have broken into buckets in the Sand Point area. Always carry 75-100 feet of rope. If you do not secure your food, you may be endangering yourself, your gear, other campers, bears and other wildlife.
Do not touch marine mammals on shore, even if they appear to be hurt or sick. A human touching, moving or otherwise irritating a marine mammal on the beach never helps the situation. Seal pups are commonly separated from their mothers by well-meaning tourists who are unaware that mother seals leave their babies in order to hunt and swim. The late spring and early summer is when seals are having babies, so the best thing a person can do is report any animal that seems sick, stranded or injured to the park rangers or the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife. Please respect all wildlife and take care to leave the tidepool life as you find it. Again, feeding wildlife is prohibited for the health of the animals and for your safety.
Fires are banned in the Sand Point area from the north side of Yellow Banks to the Wedding Rocks site. This means fires are allowed at Yellow Banks as long as they are built in a pre-existing fire ring (scar where fire has been before). Fires are still allowed at the Cape Alava and the North Coast camping area. In areas where fires are allowed, please use only driftwood for your fire. Construct beach fires below high tide line and at least 10' from drift logs. Do not burn things like cans, aluminum foil, plastic, rubber and cloth in the fire pits at the beach. The only materials acceptable for burning are wood and paper.
Fires are allowed on the lake only in preexisting fire pits. It too is a wilderness area, so no dogs, no trash cans and no groups over twelve people.
In forested sites, use established fire rings. Foraging for firewood in the forest strips vegetation, packs the soils and often leads to destruction of a native sapling. Do not burn things like cans, aluminum foil, plastic, rubber and cloth in the fire pits at the beach. The only materials acceptable for burning are wood and paper.
ALL garbage must be packed out of the wilderness areas. There are no garbage cans on the beach or in the camping areas on the coast. All trash must be packed back and carried home. Do not burn trash or garbage in the fire pits at the beach. The only materials acceptable for burning are wood and paper. If you have room to pack out any plastic beach debris as well, please do so. Do not gather it and leave it on the beach.
Please do not throw fruit seeds into the woods - pack them out with you.
When hiking out to the Ozette coast, you will walk along the three-mile, raised cedar-planked boardwalks. These can be extremely slippery when wet or frosty. Soft-soled shoes such as tennis shoes or lightweight hikers grip the boardwalk better than stiff hiking boots with hard lug soles. Most importantly: TAKE YOUR TIME and WALK CAREFULLY.
This coastline has a rough terrain in many places. Although soft-soled shoes are best for the boardwalk, it’s a different story out on the beaches. It’s not uncommon to go many miles on this coast without seeing any sand. It can be vary rocky and slippery, so ankle support is needed as well as good traction. There are places along the hike north to Rialto and south to Shi-Shi where you must use ropes to get up and over headlands. The rocks that make up the cliffs and sea stacks are unstable and fatalities have occurred.
Carry a tide chart! The tides are severe, and campers need to be aware of the highs and lows that the coast line is subject to. This is especially important if you want to do any long hikes up or down the coasts. Be aware of where all of the headlands are where you can become trapped by rising water and just how low of a tide you’ll need to hike it safely. Be aware of the time periods where high tides can make passage of headlands impossible or dangerous!
Day hikers can take the overland trails on the points of danger on the Ozette loop hike (overland trails at Wedding Rocks and White Rock).
Pick up a tide chart at the Ozette trailhead information center, or online:
You will find dozens of 300- to 500-year-old Makah petroglyphs (including whales, orca, people and faces, a sailing ship, fertility symbols, and more) at Wedding Rocks near the big boulder that sticks out from the mainland. Look for them on dark volcanic rocks at beach level. Some are above and some are below tide line, and ALL require some searching. Ask for the interpretive handout at the ranger station before departing. Makah tribal members ask that you respect their sanctity and not touch them.
No. Camping is primitive.
Bathrooms and showers are available at the Lost Resort Store.
Toilets are located at Sand Point and Cape Alva. In other areas, bury human waste 6-8 inches deep and 200 feet from any campsite or water source. Always carry a Ziploc bag to pack out your toilet paper.
Out houses are not trash vans. Please pack out ALL garbage. Too often sneakers and trash bags are found in privies.
Water is found at small creeks at Sand Point and Cape Alva, and stained brown by root tannins. Always boil, filter or treat your water.
There is a ranger station at Lake Ozette the Hoko-Ozette Road .
Lost Resort General Store is 1/4 mile from the ranger station on the Hoko-Ozette Road.
The nearest location to get gas is in Clallam Bay, about a 40-minute drive up the Hoko river road and east on Highway 112.
Pets are not allowed in the wilderness areas because they are a threat to the wilderness. Even the most well behaved domestic animal is simply not welcomed by wild animals. So having a pet on the coast destroys any chance of viewing wildlife. A dog is also a threat to itself. Many animals in this area would not be shy about picking a fight with a dog. Raccoons and squirrels can carry diseases that could infect dogs. An eagle or a bear would make a meal of some small canine varieties. For these reasons, bringing a pet is against the law and carries a hefty fine.
Stock is prohibited on coastal trails and beaches.
Lake Ozette is a prime place for boating, canoeing and kayaking. The only restrictions for water craft apply to jet skis. NO jetskis allowed
There are two boat ramps. One is located on the northern end of the lake and the other is at Swan Bay.
Lake Ozette is good for boating of all kinds, with the following exception. Personal watercraft (PCW) are prohibited on all waters in Olympic National Park. “Personal watercraft” is defined as a motorboat that is less than 16 feet in length (measured from end to end, excluding sheet) which uses an inboard, internal combustion engine powering a water jet pump as its primary source of propulsion. The vessel is intended to be operated by a person or persons sitting, standing or kneeling on the vessel, rather than within the confines of the hull.
A small camping area is located about midway down the lake at Erickson’s Bay and can be reached only by boat. Water at Erickson’s Bay is shallow with a sandy bottom that some find ideal for wading and swimming.
Fishing is allowed, with no license requirements. See these fishing regulations for details about gear and tackle. Lake Ozette is home to thirteen species of fish, including largemouth bass, yellow perch, cutthroat trout, squawfish, sockeye salmon, Kokanee salmon, steelhead and Coho salmon. No reservations are required; you’ll still need a permit, though. Remember: leave no trace.
A permit allows you to camp in certain areas, and a reservation gives you a specific time to do so. All overnight visitors to Olympic National Park’s back country areas must fill out the standard permit (plastic-coated with small wire attachment). Permits must be picked up at the WIC or a staffed ranger station during business hours. Permits cost $5 plus $2 per person, per night for those over 16 yrs. old.
Advance reservations are required between the Friday of Memorial Day weekend to the Monday of Labor Day weekend. They can be made by calling the wilderness information center at (360) 565-3100. These reservations are only made for the area from the south end of Yellow Banks to one mile north of the Ozette River. Three hundred people maximum are allowed per night. To make a reservation, please call the ranger station: (360) 963-2725.
There are some places in the Ozette area where you can camp without reservations, such as the lake, the campground and areas on the coast outside reservation boundaries.