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Alpinejo.tripod.com: Backcountry Trails Guide
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Washington Backcountry Trails

Cape Alava

The Board Walk

Cape Alava Loop

Me watching the sun setting

Definition of terms below
Location: Washington Coast
Directions: Head out Hwy 101 and make your way up near Port Angeles then get yourself on out to Ozette Lake at the roads end there is the trailhead.
Difficulty: Easy 
Elevation +/- 500 ft elevation gain
Distance: 9 Miles Roundtrip
Rating: 8 out of 10
Fishing: Did not try
Scenery: very green 
Map: Printable Topo Map


Cape Alava Loop is well worth a afternoon or weekend visit. We opted for a overnight stay.

I had heard tales about the boardwalk for years so we a buddy emailed and said he wanted to head out there I was game. We arrived at the trailhead at about 3 pm there were a good 15 cars in the enormous parking lot.

The boardwalk was a bit uneventful a few slips but no falls. There is not a whole lot to see on the 3 miles on out to the ocean-but it seems like a pretty short 3 miles because hiking the boards are so repetitive.

It was a beautiful sunny March afternoon and there were numerous people camped up at Cape Alava along the high tide line. We opted to steer clear of these crowds and headed south to a neat little spot just before you get to Sand Point. There happened to be a little water source right there and 3 very friendly deer. (There not much fresh water available from Cape Alava to Sand Point)

There sure was not as much sandy beach as I was used to after hiking the Kalaloch beaches and Third Beach down to Goodman Creek but the tidal rockery was a change of scenery. It seemed the big white sea lions liked the area---there were a bunch of them lying around.

We got up early on Saturday and headed out as the rain started falling. There was not a whole lot to see as we headed out the Sand Point leg of the trail either, but after a short 50 min hike we were at the trailhead.

No reservations needed before May. May 1 through September call 1-360-565-3100 for reservations. Plenty of fees: $5 hiking permit & $2 per person per night. Also you must bring a hard sided container for your food.

Fishing-- Did not try

 Do it again? probably not, although the boardwalk was nice change from the dirt but the ocean was not all that sandy-not too much room for tossing the Frisbee. I would suggest heading down to Third Beach just a little south of here. I may see about hiking from Ozette Lake on down to Third Beach. 

Other Links:

Harbor Tides
Saltwater Tides
Olympic Nat'l Park trail information

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