Hobuck Beach & Neah Bay

Hobuck Beach and Neah Bay are on the very tip of the Washington's Olympic Peninsula. There are launch points for sea kayaking along the coast, and it's a great place to practice kayak surf techniques. The beach and trail to Cape Flattery are great day hikes, especially for families with young children.The Makah Tribe has a resort and campground at the beach with over 500 camp sites.

Getting there

From US-101 ~5 miles west of Port Angeles, turn right onto SR 112, drive 38 miles and turn right to stay on SR-112, drive 22 miles and turn right to stay on SR-112, and drive 3 miles into Neah Bay. At the west end of Neah Bay and the end of SR-112, turn right onto 3rd Ave and then left onto Cape Flattery Road. Turn left on Hobuck Beach Road, take a right at the Y interaction after the bridge, and drive 0.5 mile to Hobuck Beach.

on the trail

cape flattery

1.5 miles round trip with 200 feet of elevation gain

An easy, 1.5 mile hike with 200 feet of elevation gain to the most northwestern point in the lower 48 states. The point is surrounded by boiling ocean offering views of seabirds, sea stacks and possible glimpses of marine mammals such as whales, sea lions and otters. Drive northwest 5.7 miles on Cape Loop Road from Hobuck Beach Resort  to the Cape Flattery trailhead.

sea kayaking

launch points

  • Hobuck Beach: Launch directly from the beach and paddle around the bay, head to points to the south, or north to Cape Flattery and Tatoosh Island.
  • Warmhouse/Neah Bay: Launch from the harbor jetty behind the Warmhouse Restaurant. Descend dirt path to protected beach. One must round Waddah Island. On the north side of Waadah is a reef that can cause the swell to suddenly stand up and break.
  • Boom Road:  Drive Boom Road NW from town. Where it turns onto the jetty leading to Waadah island find parking and launch from the north side. If there are incoming waves, care must be taken when paddling through the rocky near-shore. For trips going west, this launch site saves a couple miles of paddling.  

hobuck beach

  • From the campground, there is increasing surf height moving further south down the beach and decreasing surf height moving north.
  • Surf height is generally higher on incoming tides.
  • There is competition for surf with the surfers, so general surf etiquette applies.

cape flattery & tatoosh island

  • Between Hobuck Beach and Cape Flattery, there are a series of boomers with which to contend.
  • Between the overlook and the Strait of Juan de Fuca there can be current on the flood, but not on the ebb. This flood current also pervades the region two miles south of the overlook as well, but to a lesser extent.
  • There can be boomers, clipotis, and tidal rapids between the Cape and Tatoosh Island, and one mile south.
  • The northern side of Tatoosh Island hosts a territorial sea lion colony and may not be practical to circumnavigate through only the few choices of passageways.
  • Caves are difficult to enter if the swell is over 3 feet.
  • Caves face various direction so entry may also be dependent on swell direction.
  • Caves are most accessible if the tide level is over 6 feet, but some can be entered with only 4.5 feet of tide level.
  • There are only a few (and tide-dependent) landings between Hobuck Beach and Neah Bay. Landing is NOT permitted on Tatoosh Island. Just south of Fuca Pillar is a pocket cove protected from the northwest at N48° 22.23'  W124°  43.32'. Entrance is guarded by rocks at low tides but easier to access at high tide.
  • Halfway between Cape Flattery and Neah Bay the only reliable landing point is a small section of beach between sections of rocky shoreline at Warmhouse Beach. It's about one mile west of Koitlah Point, where there is a waterfall.
  • The cave under the overlook has a beach at the back where you can also land.
  • In addition to the full complement of safety equipment, a waterproof headlamp is helpful inside the caves. Some of the channels back into the rock are narrow and completely dark.
  • Neah Bay to Cape Flattery is 16 nm round trip. In the right conditions, a one-way trip to Hobuck Beach is possible.

neah bay & waadah Island

In bad weather, paddling around Neah Bay and going out to Waadah Island or east from Neah Bay to one of the beaches are good options. Explore the rocky shores of Waadah island—rock garden (better at higher tides), poke through the small islets on the sea side, or take a break on the beaches located at the end of the long inlets on the northwest end and watch for Sea Otters in the kelp.

East from Neah Bay

Paddle east from Neah Bay along the southern shore of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, exploring the off shore rocks. Much of this coast is rocky. Safe landings can be made on calm days but waves or swell in the Straight will make much of the shore difficult to access. The best landing points are where rivers flow into the Straight, forming sandy beaches. These can be scouted on the drive in. With a car shuttle, one may do a one way trip—there are several places to park cars and access the shoreline.

Shi Shi Beach & Point of the Arches

Paddle south to Shi Shi Beach and Point of the Arches and back. This 12 nm round trip paddle from Hobuck Beach can be very challenging.  There are only a couple of small locations that are safe to land on Shi Shi beach because of the rocks and even those locations can be difficult to land in big surf.  They are at the very north and south ends of Shi Shi beach—look at conditions carefully before heading there!


INFORMATION for leaders

Scheduling & Permits

  • If you are scheduling this as a non-course related activity, please limit your group size to the default party size. The maximum party size is for use by course field trips only, and includes both students and instructors. Group size maximums do not reflect how course field trips are run (in smaller groups of students and instructors), but allow for course leaders to register the course in our system.
  • This route allows multiple bookings. Please check scheduled trips listed below in the "Activities" tab to see if there is another group already booked on the same day. If so, please coordinate with them to ensure you are carpooling and conducting your activity at different areas.
  • If you are scheduling a course field trip, please contact our Member Services Team to confirm the field trip and any permitting regulations.
  • Land Manager: Makah Tribe
  • Parking Permit Required: Indian Reservation
  • Recommended Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Party Size: 80
  • Maximum Route/Place Capacity: 80
  • Custom Correct North Olympic Coast
  • Green Trails Cape Flattery No. 98S
  • MapTech Cape Flattery to Whidbey Island No. 103
  • Sea Trails Strait of Juan de Fuca & Crescent Lake WA301
  • Sea Trails Roadless Coast, Neah Bay to Ruby Beach WA302
  • NOAA Cape Flattery No. 18485
  • Green Trails Olympic Coast Beaches No. 99S
Trip Reports

This is a list of titles that represent the variations of trips you can take at this route/place. This includes side trips, extensions and peak combinations. Not seeing a title that fits your trip? Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.

  • Hobuck Beach
  • Neah Bay
  • Makah Bay
  • Cape Flattery
  • Tatoosh Island
  • Cape Flattery & Tatoosh Island
  • Point of the Arches
  • Shi Shi Beach
  • Shi Shi Beach & Point of the Arches
  • Hobuck Beach to Point of the Arches
  • Hobuck Beach to Shi Shi Beach
  • Hobuck Beach to Shi Shi Beach & Point of the Arches
  • Neah Bay to Hobuck Beach

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