Backpack - Ozette Triangle


Backpack - Ozette Triangle

Hike and explore a beautiful section of the fabulous Olympic Coast by way of the classic Ozette Triangle route. Enjoy the wide open sandy beaches of Sand Point as well as rocky and spectacular Cape Alava coastline. See leader notes below for a complete route description.

  • Easy/Moderate
  • Easy
  • Mileage: 10.6 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 400 ft
  • Pace: 2.0 mph

9:30am arrival and be ready to hike at 10am.  Meet at the trailhead parking lot located next to the Ozette Ranger Station.

A National Park Pass or an Interagency Pass is required for parking.

The Ozette Ranger station is located at the north end of Lake Ozette which is a little over two hours of driving time west of Port Angeles.  Driving directions will be provided to participants.

It is a very long drive to Ozette and I recommend that all participants drive to Ozette to car camp the evening of Thursday the 15th prior to starting the backpack trip the following morning.  Ozette campground is an excellent place to car camp and it is located just before you arrive at the ranger station.  By doing this it will assure that we have a punctual start to our hike the following morning being that we will start hiking at 10am.  No reservations can be made at the campground but I will be there early enough to secure spots. 

COVID-19:   We will adhere to the Mountaineer’s protocol.  All participants are required to have face masks and hand sanitizer.  We will wear masks when gathered at camp, at the trailhead, stopping on the trail and when passing other hikers or being passed.  We will maintain social distance at 6 feet the best that we can and all are encouraged to wear masks as much as possible.

The Mountaineers do not recommend carpooling with anyone outside your household at this time.

Also, due to Covid-19 there can be no sharing of equipment.  This includes tents, stoves, water filters, etc.

 ROUTE:  Day #1 we will hike from the Ozette trailhead to Sand Point on the Sand Point Trail.  This trail has a significant amount of boardwalk which can often be quite slippery.  After arriving at Sand Point where we will get our first views of the ocean we will hike south on the beach for .6 miles to South Sand Point where we will set up camp for the first night.  We likely will camp in one of the nice spots just off the beach to be protected by the trees, however, if the weather allows we will have the option to camp on the beach.  Total distance hiked will be 3.6 miles for this day.  We will arrive at camp in plenty of time to enjoy the whole afternoon and after setting up camp and eating lunch there will be options such as a couple of great afternoon beach hikes or just relaxing and enjoying the ocean from camp.

Day #2 we will be exclusively hiking on the beach (no trail hiking).  It will involve hiking the sandy beach back to Sand Point and then continuing north to Cape Alava where we will spend the second night.  The beach will become rockier as we progress northward but it is still relatively easy walking.  The views are ever changing as we move towards Cape Alava and at about one mile south of Cape Alava in an area known as Wedding Rocks we will spend some time looking for and observing some ancient Native American petroglyphs.  The tide will work to our advantage on this day as the lower tides will be in the middle part of the day.  We will arrive at our Cape Alva camp in time to still be able to spend a little more time exploring the beach for those who want more beach time.  Camping for this night will be in one of the camp spots just off the beach protected by the trees but with a view of the ocean.  Total will be 3.7 miles for this day.

Day #3 we will complete the triangle, hiking from Cape Alava back to the Ozette trailhead on the Cape Alava Trail.  Just like the trail on day #1 this trail also has a fair amount of boardwalk.  The plan will be to break camp and start hiking no later than 10am so that we are back to the trailhead in time to allow the afternoon for driving home.  Total distance for this day is 3.4 miles.

 OTHER:  Bear resistant canisters for food storage are required by the Olympic National Park primarily due to raccoons but also due to the occasional bear.  Ursacks are not allowed.  Canisters are available for loan at the Wilderness Information Center in Port Angeles and the cost is included in the permit cost.  I will gladly pick up and return all canisters for any or all participants.  You are welcome to bring your own canister if you already have one.  Make sure that your pack will accommodate a canister.  Canister dimensions are 12” X 8.8”.

Both camps for the two nights have a good water source.  It is necessary to filter the water.

Campfires are not allowed at South Sand Point for the first night but they are allowed at Cape Alava on our second night. 

While the hiking is not difficult there are occasional obstacles such as climbing over driftwood or negotiating slippery rocks as well as the sometimes slippery boardwalk.  Trekking poles can be helpful for these situations but they are not required.  Also, the elevation gain is minimal.  Total distance not including any day hiking is 10.6 miles.  Often at this time of year the biggest challenge can be dealing with rain and blustery winds.    

A non-refundable permit cost of $16 per person is required and will need to be reimbursed to me to hold your spot on the roster.  There will also be car camping fees which will be based on how many of us car camp the night before and this money can be paid at the campground.

Detailed information will be sent to participants as we get closer to the time of the trip.  Included information will be equipment requirements, a GPX map of the route, driving directions to Ozette and instructions on how to send me the permit cost reimbursement.  And, as we get real close to the trip updated weather forecast information will be sent. 

In good conditions this backpack trip is extremely rewarding.   The trip will be dependent on the weather but being early spring it should not be too bad.  If strong coastal storms are forecasted at the scheduled time of the trip it will be postponed to another time not too distant.


Ozette Triangle

  • Green Trails Ozette No. 130S

    Custom Correct Ozette Beach Loop

    Trails Illustrated Olympic National Park

    Green Trails Olympic Coast Beaches No. 99S
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

  • Tent with footprint/ground tarp
  • Stove and fuel
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water filter
  • Bear canister or extra stuff sack and cord designated for hanging food
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
Trip Reports