Ozette Lake

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Ozette Lake
Lake Ozette-flickr-3028149782.jpg
Ozette Lake in 2008.
Location Clallam County, Washington, United States
Coordinates 48°5′40.21″N 124°37′56.95″W / 48.0945028°N 124.6324861°W / 48.0945028; -124.6324861Coordinates: 48°5′40.21″N 124°37′56.95″W / 48.0945028°N 124.6324861°W / 48.0945028; -124.6324861
Primary outflows Ozette River
Basin countries United States
Surface area 7,787 acres (3,151 ha)
Max. depth 331 ft (101 m)
Surface elevation 29 ft (8.8 m)
Islands 3 (Tivoli, Garden Island, Baby Island)

Ozette Lake is the largest unaltered natural lake in Washington state at 29.5 km² (2,954 ha).[1]

The Makah name for Lake Ozette was Kahouk meaning "large lake."[2] Eight miles long and three miles wide, Ozette Lake is contained within the northern boundary of the Olympic National Park's coastal strip.[3] It is 29 feet (~9 m) above sea level and is drained by the Ozette River in the north end. Ozette, Washington lies at the north end of the lake. At 331 feet deep, its bottom lies more than 300 feet below sea level.[2]

There are three islands on Ozette Lake: Tivoli, Garden Island, and Baby Island.[4] Tivoli's sandy shore is a favorite kayaking and canoeing destination for overnight tent campers willing to make the long trip down the lake. Beware of unpredictable weather conditions, as the large surface of the lake is known to fetch large waves rather quickly.[5][6] The Erickson's Bay campground is the only boat in campground in Olympic National Park.

Ozette Lake features several trails leading to the Pacific Coast Marine Sanctuary. Three of these trails are continuous cedar boardwalks maintained by the Olympic National Park Service. The two most traveled trails depart from the Olympic National Park information kiosks and restrooms at the north end of Ozette Lake. The northern trail, (3.2 miles,) is a cedar boardwalk leading to Cape Alava, passing through the beautiful Ahlstrom's Prairie; the southern boardwalk trail, (3.3 miles,) leads to Sand Point and the Ozette Indian Petroglyphs at Wedding Rock. (54 petroglyphs.)[7] There is a shorter, (2.5 miles,) boat-in only, well-maintained trail that heads out to the wild ocean beaches from Erickson's Bay, on the northwestern side of Ozette Lake. Additional camping at Erickson's Bay, Eagle Point, or Tivoli Island is available for boaters. Longer coastal hiking trails include the Ozette Loop, connecting the Sand Point and Cape Alava trails by hiking up or down the beach to the next trail head. (About 9 miles.)[8]

Two other trails are known to locals and Scout groups; one heading to the beach just south of the Park maintained trail from Erickson's, (Coast Guard Trail,) and a trail from Allen's Bay out to Kayostla Beach. Both trails are undeveloped, known to be frequently muddy, and are recommended for more experienced hikers prepared for wet, wilderness hiking.[9]

The National Park Service maintains 15 sites at the main campground at the north end of the lake. With over 100,000 hikers visiting the "Ozette Loop Trail" yearly, summer campsites fill quickly. There is a parking area to assemble and gather up with your groups. Get there early during peak summer months.[10] Cabin rentals, showers, hot food, cold drinks, local's photos, and information is available just outside the Park boundaries.[11]


  1. ^ "Lake Ozette". Washington State Tourism Experience. Retrieved 1 September 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Majors, Harry M. (1975). Exploring Washington. Van Winkle Publishing Co. p. 10. ISBN 978-0-918664-00-6. 
  3. ^ Bulletin, Issues 11-13. Washington (State). Division of Geology. 1914. p. 61. 
  4. ^ "Lake Ozette, Washington, USA". Lakelubbers. Retrieved 1 September 2010. 
  5. ^ "Memorial: Birthday of Martha JuliRae Rank". Stacey Mayer. Retrieved 3 September 2011. 
  6. ^ "Kayaking Swan Bay Lake Ozette". Paddle Heaven. Retrieved 3 September 2011. 
  7. ^ "Makah rock art near Ozette Site". University of Washington Libraries. Retrieved 3 September 2011. 
  8. ^ "Olympic National Park Ozette Loop". NPS. Retrieved 1 September 2010. 
  9. ^ "Clallam Bay and Sekiu". Clallam Bay Sekiu Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved 3 September 2011. 
  10. ^ "Visiting Ozette". National Park Service. Retrieved 1 September 2010. 
  11. ^ "Lost Resort at Lake Ozette". Rob Snyder. Retrieved 3 September 2011.