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July 03, 2016

Ozette Loop–Olympic National Park

Although not a bucket-list item, I had not been to the Lake Ozette area of Olympic National Park before.  But the pictures of the sea stacks along Alava Beach, the petroglyphs at Wedding Rocks, the beaches at Sand Point and the trail is a loop!  Known as the Ozette Loop.

The beach trails begin across the foot bridge at the information kiosk at the ranger station
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A short walk along a well maintained trail leads to a decision of which trail to the beach.  For an out-n-back do Sand Point as it is the more level and shorter trail.  Doing the loop?  Check the tide charts at the ranger station!  We started on Cape Alava on a falling tide, it’s a bit longer and has more elevation change, but is also more scenic.
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The boardwalk on both trails varies from restored wood, split cedar and gravel.  Stairs and bridges provide some relief to the elevation changes.
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Lacking on both trails are what I call ‘mosquito feeding stations’, benches placed off the trail for a break.  The trails are easy, the miles go fast and soon Tskawahyah Island and the sea stacks of Alava Beach come into view.
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Once on the beach it is 3+ miles of sand, rocks and driftwood scrambles to the Sand Point Trailhead.  Fran has her own way of negotiating some of the driftwood.
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The well worn petroglyphs at Wedding Rocks are worth the stop, but they were barely visible in the overcast light on this day.
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There is a large outcropping just south of Wedding Rocks that would be impassible at high tide.  But there are trail markers for a bypass.  We had a low tide and went for the rock scramble, still the bypass trail might have been a better choice!
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There’s a  hole in this sea stack, but not much of a view through it.IMG_2915 (640x473)IMG_2916 (640x480)

Our first view of one of the locals along the beach, as we continue to scramble over rocks to enjoy the views of more sea stacks.
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I noticed the lack of personal litter on the beach.  There were some ropes, nets and floats lost by the fishermen but no actual personal trash.  Not all boats make it back from the sea.
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Ah at last Sand Point comes into view!  But the sand is course and soft, and there is another technical section to negotiate.
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Once across this last field of seaweed it’s back on the sand and easy walking!
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A pair of fawns are on the beach to enjoy the view and their lunch as mom watches our every step!
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A stop on the driftwood for lunch before beginning the climb over the driftwood to the Sand Point Trail.
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A few items to note if you consider this loop:
LOW TIDE! – or note the bypass trail markers.  I’ve also included the trailhead markers for Alava and Sand Point, you will not want to miss them.

Alava Beach trailhead marker:
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High tide bypass route at Wedding Rocks:
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Hight tide bypass marker at the bluff, there is a rope to assist the climb.
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Trailhead marker for Sand Point Trail:
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Campground Review:
Ozette Campround $20/$10 offers level sites at Lake Ozette each with fire ring and table.  Potatable water at the entrance, flush toilets at the ranger station, no dump station, a couple bars of Verizon 3G.

Next up we’ll continue south along the very wet west coast
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