Taking advantage of the long weekend, Sara and I went for a backpacking trip on Sunday/Monday out to the Ozette triangle on the Olympic Peninsula. As expected in a rain forest, it rained the entire weekend - but we still had fun. The Olympic coast is a wild place and it’s amazing to visit in sunny weather and not.


Ozette Triangle

After a change of plans where our sailing trip was cancelled, Sara and I decided to go on a different kind of adventure. I’ve been wanting to do some more backpacking this summer - having fond memories of the few trips we have done in the past. This weekend, we did the Ozette triangle - a trip that I have been meaning to do for a long time. Back in 2012, I did a solo 4 day trip along the Olympic coast from the south end of the Ozette triangle all the way to oil city - which is the entire length of the trail, with the exception of the coastal leg of the Ozette triangle. I found the Olympic Coast to be magical back then, and it still is today.

The start of the trail is a moss-covered bridge, that has a fun party-like look to it.


The first leg of the trail is through the dense rainforest - with about half the trail on boardwalks over wet bog/swamp land. As it’s still early in the season, we didn’t see any berries but we found blueberry, salmonberry, and salal berry plants all along the trail with the little flowers that will become the berries in a few months.

I gave Sara a new camera for her birthday which she was really into on this trip. She was out of batteries before we even got to the beach. She takes after her mother in wanting to take a picture of every different kind of flower she runs across.

About 2 miles in, we saw a deer in the meadow just off the trail. I think these were the last pictures that Sara took before her camera died.

Gradually the thick forest gave way to some small meadows as we got closer to the coast. I’m not sure if it actually had anything to do with proximity to the coast vs some micro-effect like an old fire, but the effect was the gradual emergence into the open coast.


We got to the beach in the early afternoon and started to make our way from Camp Alava down to Wedding Rocks where we had our permit to camp for the night. The beach transitioned between sand and rocks/scrambling as we made our way down the coast. The tide was mostly in, so there was only small pockets of tidal land where we could go tidepooling. There were quite a few downed trees that we had to climb over/under, which would have been easier with the tide a little bit more out.

Wedding rocks was supposed to have petroglyphs on it and we were able to find them just before we made camp. They reminded me a bit of the petroglyphs in Wrangell AK. We learned there that carbon dating doesn’t work for the coastal/tidal petroglyphs so experts sort of guess when they were made. My guess was that these were not actually that old (I had the same suspicion in Wrangell), but you just never know…

We found a camp just past wedding rocks that was 5-6 feet above the sand. We had to climb up a short rope to get into camp (adding to the adventure) and we ended up with a beautiful view of the coast from our tent window. I got to work setting up the tent and getting ready for dinner while…

Sara did some very hard work setting up a bench for us to have dinner on. She carried a half dozen of these back to camp from just down the beach, carrying them up the rope climb into camp each time. Very industrious, although perhaps not the most efficient.

Dinner was backpackers meals - lasagna and a vegan beans & rice meal. Both were delicious - “The best Lasagna I’ve ever had!” which might have had to do with the hike and the wood transporting vs the actual quality of the meal.

While Sara was out looking for wood, she found a rope tied into a tree and she added a stick to make a swing. Better than desert.

After dinner we had our actual desert, uncooked smores (it was still raining, so no fire) and then took our water bottles up to the creek at wedding rocks to refill.


The water on the Olympic Coast is dark red from tannins leaching from leaves/wood in the forest that the water flows through. It’s safe, if treated, and Sara was a big fan of the novelty of it. I had a little bit in my water bottle when I got back home, here it is.

Tannin Water


Ozette Day 2

We had a rough night in the tent - the last time we did this Sara was a lot smaller and the system we had back then no longer works. I decided in the early morning that I was going to be investing in a Sara sized backpacking backpack so she could carry her own sleeping bag and pad. We had our breakfast of oatmeal and pop-tarts before breaking camp. We were on our way by about 8a and continued down the beach for another few miles. The tide was way out (I think it was only a +1/2 tide) and there was tide-pooling for days. We spent several hours going only a few miles down the beach.

We found a fun Tombolo with a hole in it - This is not the famous hole in the wall, but it looks similar.

We made it to the last leg of the trip and the Sandy Point landmark around 10a. We had a good rest with some snacks before heading back into the forest for the last 3 mile leg of the trip. Sara found some fiddlehead and dubbed it the “Snail-shell Fern” - which I thought was a very accurate name.

Snail Shell Fern

For about a mile, Sara was the puppy. She picked up a well worn stick from the beach and carried it in her mouth remarking on how good it tastes…


We slowed down considerably for the last mile or so, but that was to be expected. But with a little bribery/coaxing, we made it back to the car. The trip back was long and we had to go around because of the ferry wait times, but we did stop for mexican food and Sara got the chance to show off her manners…