Sand Point Trail, Ozette Coast Trailhead, Olympic National Park, Washington
Sand Point Trail - 5.9 miles
Ozette Coast Trailhead
|Round-Trip Length:||5.9 miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||27' - 0' (134' max elevation)|
|Elevation Change:||-27' elevation loss (+241' total roundtrip elevation gain)|
Sand Point Trail - 5.9 Miles Round-Trip
The Sand Point Trail begins at the Ozette Coast Trailhead in Olympic National Park. It runs 2.95 miles on boardwalks through coastal woodlands to the beach where you may continue out to Sand Point, or three miles north to the Cape Alava Trail to form a 9.2 mile loop.
The trail passes information boards and a seasonal ranger station to the Cape Alava - Sand Point Trail split (.2 miles : 68'). It remains level through a heavy understory of salal, yellow skunk cabbage, huckleberry, and various fern. The path's muddy flanks are infused with tannins leached from decaying matter in the forest.
The trail rises nominally on the boardwalk between pockets of hemlock, cedar, and Sitka spruce to a crest (2.5 miles : 134'), where it tilts down in a uniformly tall hemlock forest to the coast (2.95 miles).
Sand Point is located 200 yards south of the trail, which can be scaled with rangy panoramas of the coast, and a wave break just off shore.
There's an established campsite where trail meets beach, but it's not very private. Head south around Sand Point for additional sites in the Park-recognized camping zone. Note fires are not permitted in this area.
Additional sites are located 2 miles north along the beach at Wedding Rocks, which require two significant headland climbs to reach.
- N48 09.271 W124 40.135 — 0.0 miles : Ozette Coast Trailhead
- N48 09.145 W124 40.319 — .2 miles : Cape Alava Trail split
- N48 08.706 W124 40.949 — 1.0 miles : Mild grade on boardwalk
- N48 08.167 W124 41.835 — 2.0 miles : Travel through large cedar and hemlock
- N48 07.650 W124 42.486 — 2.95 miles : Sand Point Beach
- The name salal is derived from the Chinook word for the plant, first recorded by William Clark as Shele wele, and by Meriwether Lewis as Shal-lun. The modern scientific name shallon comes from Lewis' name for the plant. (Northwest Coast Magazine - Brian F. Harrison)
- Sitka Spruce are found along this trail, particularly on the coast. Sitka prefer moist soil, full sun, and are intolerant of shade. In addition to the wood's many applications, Native Americans consumed fresh inner bark, and dried it into cakes. Powdered Sitka bark was used as a thickener in soups, and added to cereals when making bread.
- You may continue 3 miles north up the beach to the Cape Alava Trail, which leads back to the Ozette Trailhead to form a 9.2 mile loop. Though elevation gain is minimal, two challenging headland climbs and obstacles on the beach make this a moderately strenuous, athletically demanding route.
Camping and Backpacking Information
- Permits are required for all overnight stays in Olympic National Park. Contact the Wilderness Information Center (360.565.3100) for backcountry camping reservations, permits, and trail conditions. Visit the WIC: 600 East Park Avenue, Port Angeles, WA 98362.
- Quotas and Reservations are in effect May 1 - September 30 for the Ozette Coast. 50% of sites can be reserved in advance. The other 50% is available first come, first served from the WIC during business hours up to 24 hours in advance.
- Permits for quota areas must be picked up at the WIC, or a staffed ranger station during business hours.
- There's a $5 registration fee per group, plus $2 per person (children under 15 excluded). If you don't have access to a WIC, or plan to arrive early or late, call the WIC to arrange your permit ahead of time. Self-registration trailheads have forms, permits, and submission boxes.
- Reservations may be made no more than 30 days in advance. Groups of 7-12 people must camp in designated group sites within quota areas.
- Camping is permitted only in designated sites within quota areas. Campsites are not individually assigned, but are available to permit holders on a first come, first served basis.
- Deviation from your permit itinerary is not allowed in quota areas, except in emergencies. In other areas, permits are not limited.
- Campfires are prohibited between the headland north of Yellow Banks to the headland at Wedding Rocks. This includes Sand Point.
- Food Storage and Bear Canisters: All food and scented items must be secured 24 hours a day. Hard-sided canisters are required all along the coast.
- The Ozette Campground has 15 sites available on a first come, first served basis. Fees range $12-18 per night. Campgrounds can accommodate RVs and trailers up to 21'.
- All sites have a picnic table and fire pit. Park campgrounds do not have hook-ups or showers. Amenities vary; refer to the NPS website for specific grounds information.
- A Washington State Fishing License is not required to fish in Olympic National Park except when fishing in the Pacific Ocean from shore. No license is required to harvest surf smelt.
- A Washington State catch record card is required to fish for salmon or steelhead and they must be accounted for as if caught in state waters. Fishing regulations are specific to site, species, and season. Contact the Park before setting out.
- Recreational fishing in freshwater areas of Olympic National Park is restricted to artificial lures with single, barbless hooks (exceptions may apply).
- The use of seines, traps, drugs, explosives, and nets (except to land a legally hooked fish or dip-net smelt) are prohibited.
Rules and Regulations
- There's a $15 fee to enter Olympic National Park ($30 annual pass).
- It's illegal to touch, move, remove, or enter archeological objects and structures. Respect Ozette Indian Reservation boundaries north of Cape Alava.
- Pets are not permitted on trails. Pets are permitted in campgrounds and must be leashed at all times.
Directions to Trailhead
The Ozette Coast Trailhead is located 69.3 miles from the US 101 - Highway 112 intersection (just west of Port Angeles).
Drive west from Port Angeles on US 101 to Highway 112. Take 112 north 37.8 miles to to the Highway 113 - Highway 112 split. Continue 10.5 miles on Highway 112 to Hoko Ozette Road (just outside the town of Sekiu). Bear left on Hoko Ozette Road and drive 21 miles to the trailhead at the end of the road.
Olympic National Park
600 East Park Avenue
Port Angeles, WA 98362-6798
Visitor Information: 360.565.3130
Road & Weather Hotline: 360.565.3131
Wilderness Information Center and Backcountry Permit Office (WIC)
Hoh Rainforest Visitor Center
Forks Information Station
360.374.7566 or 360.374.5877
Quinault Wilderness Information Office