If you are feeling ambitious, head for the northwestern most point of the Continental United States: Cape Flattery. From Cape Flattery you can look out over the rocky cliffs and can see the Tatoosh lighthouse on Tatoosh Island. It continues to mark the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. These desolate, rocky shores can be deadly for unawares seamen. It is a view that infuses you with the power of the mighty Pacific Ocean.
The Makah Tribe
The Makah tribe made this corner of the world home for several thousand years.
A Makah settlement circa 1900
The Makah Cultural Center and Museum is a fascinating glimpse into these hardy people’s history. Many of the artifacts are displayed in ways that tell the story of their approximate 4,000-year-old existence.
Makah National Fish Hatchery
If you are a seafood lover, than you already know the Olympic Peninsula has unparalleled bounty. One variety in particular, Salmon, is a favorite of mine and also lovely to pair with many Olympic Peninsula white wines, like the Aligote from Fairwinds winery. If you have an interest in the fascinating life cycle of salmon (and you are already up near Neah Bay) visit the Makah National Fish Hatchery.
View Chinook salmon as they make their way over fish ladders to the hatchery’s spawning area. Spawning months are October and November, and the salmon are released in late April. Smaller numbers of coho, chum salmon and steelhead trout also populate the hatchery. From Neah Bay, follow signs south for 7 mi.
Pick Up Some Washington Wine for Your Seafood Dinner!
On your way back from Cape Flattery, stop at an Olympic Peninsula winery and pick up a bottle of Washington wine to have with dinner. Camaraderie Cellars in Port Angeles makes wines are known for balance and complexity that complement a wide range of foods. Camaraderie winemakers focus on Bordeaux grape varieties both red and white. Sauvignon Blanc co-fermented with Semillion is blended with barrel-fermented viognier to produce a fresh, fruity white wine to complement area seafood.
The Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary encompasses 135 miles of coastline. It’s located on the Olympic Peninsula, in the northwest corner of Washington State, and much of it is remote and wild. We’re fortunate to live and work so close to this national treasure.
Sunset at Kalaloch, in the Olympic National Park.
Many of the people who visit our 8 member Olympic Peninsula Wineries and Cideries are either coming from- or going to- the coast. They come from the greater Seattle area and they come from east of the Cascade Mountains. They travel from Canada and they come from points farther south and east. People are drawn to the Washington Coast. We’re not surprised.
Some visitors want to walk to the tip of Cape Flattery, the most northwestern point in the lower 48. Others come to see the sea stacks off the beaches of La Push, or to hike from Ozette Lake to the coast. Some dream of running on the wide, sandy beaches of Kalaloch. Others dream of digging for clams on the beaches of Moclips.
Whatever your reasons for visiting the Olympic Coast, we hope you’ll take time to visit some of the Washington State Wineries located on the Olympic Peninsula. Sample some of the wines made here, and when you find one you like, bring it with you. Share it while camping or bring it back home and, as you sip it, remember the magnificent Olympic Coast.
Cape Flattery sits at the northwestern tip of the Olympic Peninsula, on Makah land. Indeed, it is the northwestern-most point of the contiguous United States. For that reason alone, it’s worth a visit.
The Cape Flattery Lighthouse on Tatoosh Island.
It’s easier to travel to the tip of Cape Flattery than it used to be. A couple of years ago, the rough and pitted dirt road that once lead intrepid travelers 4.5 miles from Neah Bay to Cape Flattery was paved. The muddy, poorly maintained trail to the tip of Washington state was transformed into a groomed earthen and cedar plank trail. The Makah Tribe rightly decided that more people would come to Cape Flattery if it was easier to get there. Still, the journey requires a commitment – Cape Flattery is nearly 90 miles northwest of Port Angeles.
Once there, it’s worth staying a while. There are several options available. Hobuck Beach Resort on the Makah Indian Reservation offers cabins, RV camping, and tent camping. For more information, please see the Hobuck Beach Resort.
You’ll want to have a good supply of Washington State Wines with you while you’re exploring Cape Flattery and Neah Bay. Be sure to allow time for wine tasting on your journey west; there are several Olympic Peninsula Washington Wineries in Port Angeles – right on the way. Wine tasting ensures you’ll be drinking a wine you really like when you’re at the northwestern tip of the contiguous United States.