Located in the Northwestern-most point of the contiguous United States (the part of America that is connected) the Makah reservation may just be the most beautiful location on the Olympic Peninsula. With high bluffs over the ever-churning Pacific Ocean, as well as locations to watch for whales, eagles, seals and migratory birds, Neah Bay is spectacular. With hiking trails, amazing smoked salmon and one of the best cultural museums in the Country, a trip to Neah Bay and the Makah Reservation is needed!
Neah Bay and the Makah Reservation is nearly 2 hours from Port Angeles, so be aware that a trip out here is best done in a few days. It can be done in one day, but you will be gone from sunrise to sunset and later. Don’t let the distance stop you though. Where else can you see the best beaches, taste the best smoked salmon and go whale watching from the prettiest beach trails in the country?
NEED TO KNOW
Map of Neah Bay: Click for the MAP OF NEAH BAY
You must purchase a recreation permit from the Makah Tribe before using the reservation for hiking. They can be purchased at the Makah Museum.
The Makah have been the object of protest for their hunting of whales: http://exotichikes.com/neah-bay-cape-flattery-and-the-makah-whale-hunts/
Stop at the TAKE HOME FISH COMPANY for the BEST Smoked Salmon in the State: http://www.yelp.com/biz/take-home-fish-company-neah-bay
Visit the Makah for Makah Days: http://www.makah.com/makahdays.html
PLACES TO EAT
The Warm House:
Linda’s Wood Fired Kitchen:
Makah Cultural and Research Center
Why: Understanding the Makah is needed to be done, and a visit to this gorgeous, state of the art facility will give you exactly what you need. From amazing artifacts to otter pelts, cedar hats and pictures, this museum will shock you at how rad it truly is. Stop by here and be amazed at the history of the Makah.
Why: Hobuck Beach is a fantastic spot to sit back and watch the waves, walk on the beach or look for agates and other objects of beachcombing. Easy to get to and fun for the entire family, Hobuck Beach offers a remote stretch of beach right next to the road. While not as scenic as Shi Shi beach and not as dramatic and Cape Flattery, this is a fun place to watch a storm roll in, scan the water for whales or just enjoy a day at the beach.
Makah National Fish Hatchery
Why: If you have ever wanted to see the best salmon in the world, stopping at the Makah National Fish Hatchery is a must stop location. According to the Hatchery website the best months to visit are between October and February because “visitors can watch the exciting spectacle of these magnificent fish ascending the hatchery’s fish ladder, and see large adult fish in the hatchery’s holding ponds. At other times of year, visitors can observe chinook, coho, and steelhead fry and fingerlings in the hatchery’s raceways, watch smolts being tagged and released, and enjoy spectacular scenery and wildlife here at land’s end.”
Why: Beautifully-designed and maintained by the Proud Makah Nation, the trail to Cape Flattery leads you to one of the most iconic images of the Olympic Peninsula Coast. This trail, which weaves through wonderful old-growth on raised cedar platforms, takes you to the Northwestern-most point in the contiguous United States. With sea stacks and a view of Tatoosh Island, which once was the whaling camp for the mighty Makah tribe, this is an amazing hike no matter what the weather.
Point of the Arches from Shi Shi Beach
Who: Moderate Hikers
Why: While it is 8 miles round trip, this jaunt along the mighty Pacific Ocean will blow you away in windy and non-windy weather. With only 200 feet of total elevation gain, hiking along Shi Shi Beach is easy enough for nearly everyone. There might not be a better place to spend a hot summer day or during a wet, rainy storm than Shi Shi Beach. Visitors to this area often have a hard time returning to their cities because of the beauty. The best trail is heading toward Point of Arches, but be aware that the first 1.75 miles are through thick spruce forests. After you reach the National Park, climb down a bluff and you are on the beach.
Lake Ozette: http://goo.gl/maps/x4SEp
Lake Crescent: http://goo.gl/maps/j7D0n
Sol Duc Falls: http://goo.gl/maps/Md7vX
Salt Creek: http://goo.gl/maps/cJK5w
MORE FAMILY FRIENDLY HIKES AND LOCATIONS
MORE HIKES ON THE OLYMPIC PENINSULA