Camping Lake Ozette: A Serene Getaway in the Pacific Northwest

We recently had the pleasure of camping at Lake Ozette, and we can confidently say that it was one of the best camping experiences we’ve ever had. Located in Olympic National Park, Lake Ozette is the third-largest lake in Washington and is surrounded by lush forests and stunning views. Camping at Lake Ozette is an excellent way to connect with nature and enjoy some peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

One of the things we loved most about camping at Lake Ozette was the variety of activities available. From hiking to kayaking, there’s something for everyone. The lake offers backcountry camping to kayakers, canoeists, and other boaters. The 9.5-mile loop hike is the perfect way to explore the coastal region. Additionally, there are plenty of opportunities for fishing, swimming, and wildlife watching. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or just looking for a relaxing getaway, Lake Ozette has something to offer.

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Camping Lake Ozette: Overview

Camping Lake Ozette is an experience that any nature lover should have on their bucket list. Lake Ozette is the third-largest lake in Washington state and is located in the heart of Olympic National Park. The lake is surrounded by a lush coastal temperate rainforest that is home to a variety of wildlife, including black bears, bald eagles, and Roosevelt elk.

The lake offers a variety of recreational activities, including kayaking, canoeing, fishing, and backcountry camping. The lake’s calm waters are perfect for paddling, and the lake’s abundant fish population makes it a popular spot for fishing. Visitors can also hike the Ozette Loop Trail, a 9.2-mile trail that takes hikers through the forest and along the coast.

Camping at Lake Ozette is a unique experience, with several campsites available for visitors. The campground at Ozette sits next to Lake Ozette and has 15 sites with great views of the lake. Visitors can also find cabin rentals and campsites just outside the park boundary at Ozette, and the nearby towns of Clallam Bay and Sekiu also provide lodging.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing weekend getaway or an adventure in the great outdoors, Camping Lake Ozette has something for everyone. From paddling on the lake to hiking through the forest, there are endless opportunities to explore and connect with nature.

How to Get There

Getting to Camping Lake Ozette is a bit of an adventure, but it’s definitely worth it. Here are a few ways to get there:

By Car

The easiest way to get to Lake Ozette is by car. From Port Angeles, take Highway 101 west for about 30 miles until you reach the turnoff for Hoko-Ozette Road. Turn left and follow the road for about 21 miles until you reach the Lake Ozette Ranger Station. From there, it’s just a short drive to the campground.

By Public Transportation

If you don’t have a car, you can still get to Lake Ozette by public transportation. The Clallam Transit System operates a bus from Port Angeles to Neah Bay, which stops at the Lake Ozette Ranger Station. From there, it’s just a short walk to the campground.

By Foot

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also hike to Lake Ozette. The most popular route is the Ozette Triangle, which is a 9.4-mile loop that takes you through old-growth forests, along the coast, and past Lake Ozette. The trailhead is located at the Ozette Ranger Station, which is about a 3-hour drive from Port Angeles.

No matter how you get there, be sure to bring a map and plenty of water. The roads can be rough, and the weather can be unpredictable, so it’s always best to be prepared.

Best Time to Visit

When planning a camping trip to Lake Ozette, it’s important to consider the best time to visit. The weather, crowds, and availability of campsites can all impact your experience. Looking for tips on Do’s and Don’ts when visiting? Check out our recommended camping essentials and setups! Here are some factors to keep in mind when deciding when to go:


The weather at Lake Ozette can be unpredictable, so it’s important to be prepared for a range of conditions. Summers are generally mild and dry, with average temperatures in the 60s and 70s. However, rain is always a possibility, so be sure to bring rain gear and waterproof your tent.

Fall can be a beautiful time to visit, with colorful foliage and fewer crowds. However, temperatures can be cooler and rain is more likely. Winter brings the most rain and wind, and snow is possible at higher elevations. Spring can be a good time to visit if you don’t mind some rain and cooler temperatures.


Lake Ozette is a popular destination, especially during the summer months. If you prefer a quieter experience, consider visiting in the shoulder seasons or midweek. Be sure to make reservations well in advance if you plan to camp during peak season.

Campsite Availability

There are several campsites around Lake Ozette, but they can fill up quickly during peak season. The National Park Service recommends making reservations as early as possible. If you’re unable to get a reservation, there are also first-come, first-served campsites available.

Overall, the best time to visit Lake Ozette depends on your preferences and priorities. Whether you prefer warm, dry weather or a quieter experience, there’s a time of year that’s right for you.

Camping Details

If you’re planning to go camping at Lake Ozette, it’s important to have all the information you need to make your trip a success. Here are some details on campsites and reservations:

Campsite Information

The campground at Ozette sits next to Lake Ozette and has 15 sites with great views of the lake. Cabin rentals and campsites are available just outside the park boundary at Ozette. The nearby towns of Clallam Bay and Sekiu also provide lodging options.

Lake Ozette is the third-largest lake in Washington, and it offers backcountry camping to kayakers, canoeists, and other boaters. There are several campsites located along the lake’s shoreline. These campsites are primitive, and campers should be prepared to bring their own water and pack out all trash.

Reservation Process

Ozette Campground does not offer reservations through Campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. However, it’s always a good idea to arrive early to secure a spot.

For backcountry camping, a wilderness permit is required. Permits can be obtained at the Wilderness Information Center in Port Angeles or at the Ozette Ranger Station. It’s recommended to obtain permits in advance, especially during peak season.

We hope this information helps you plan your camping trip to Lake Ozette. Happy camping!

Camping Lake Ozette: What to Bring

When preparing for a camping trip at Lake Ozette, it’s important to pack appropriately to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Here are some essentials that we recommend bringing:

Camping Gear

  • Tent: Choose a tent that is appropriate for the number of people in your group. Make sure it’s waterproof and has a rainfly.
  • Sleeping Bags: Bring sleeping bags that are rated for the expected temperature. Don’t forget pillows and sleeping pads for added comfort.
  • Camp Chairs: Comfortable chairs are essential for relaxing around the campfire.
  • Headlamps or Flashlights: Make sure to bring extra batteries.
  • Cooler: Keep food and drinks cool in a quality cooler.
  • Portable Stove and Fuel: Bring a portable stove and fuel to cook meals.
  • Cookware and Utensils: Pack pots, pans, dishes, utensils, and a can opener.
  • Water Filter: Bring a water filter to ensure safe drinking water.
  • First Aid Kit: Be prepared for any emergency with a well-stocked first aid kit.


  • Warm Layers: Nights can get chilly, so bring warm layers such as a fleece or down jacket.
  • Rain Gear: Be prepared for rain with a waterproof jacket and pants.
  • Hiking Boots: Bring sturdy hiking boots for exploring the trails.
  • Sun Protection: Pack sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to protect from the sun.
  • Swimsuit: Take a dip in the lake on a hot day.

Food and Drink

  • Water Bottles: Bring reusable water bottles to reduce waste.
  • Snacks: Pack easy-to-eat snacks such as trail mix, energy bars, and fruit.
  • Meals: Plan meals ahead of time and bring ingredients to cook over the camp stove or fire. Don’t forget condiments and spices.

By packing these essentials, we can ensure a comfortable and enjoyable camping trip at Lake Ozette.

Safety Precautions

When Camping Lake Ozette, it is important to take necessary safety precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable camping experience. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Wilderness Permits

First and foremost, it is important to obtain a wilderness permit for camping in the Ozette area. Permits are limited year-round and it is recommended to book early for trips between May and the end of September. You can obtain a wilderness permit by visiting the Wilderness Trip Planner page on the Olympic National Park website.

Group Size Restrictions

Groups are limited to no more than 12 people when camping in the Ozette area. Associated groups of more than 12 must camp and travel at least 1 mile apart and may not combine at any time into a group of more than 12. It is important to follow these restrictions to minimize the impact on the environment and to ensure a safe camping experience.

Safety Gear

It is important to bring appropriate safety gear when camping in the Ozette area. This includes a first aid kit, a map and compass, and a whistle. It is also recommended to bring a bear canister to store your food and other scented items. This will reduce the risk of attracting bears and other wildlife to your campsite.


The weather in the Ozette area can be unpredictable, so it is important to be prepared for all types of weather conditions. Bring appropriate clothing and gear for rain, wind, and cold temperatures. It is also important to check the weather forecast before your trip and to be aware of any potential weather hazards.

Leave No Trace

When camping in the Ozette area, it is important to practice Leave No Trace principles to minimize the impact on the environment. This includes packing out all of your trash, using designated campsites, and avoiding damaging vegetation and wildlife. By following these principles, we can help preserve the natural beauty of the Ozette area for future generations to enjoy.

By taking these safety precautions when Camping Lake Ozette, we can ensure a safe and enjoyable camping experience for all.

Activities at Lake Ozette

When camping at Lake Ozette, there are plenty of activities to keep us entertained. Here are a few of our favorites:


Lake Ozette is surrounded by beautiful hiking trails, including the famous Ozette Loop. This 9.4-mile trail takes us through old-growth forests, along the coast, and past ancient petroglyphs. For a shorter hike, we can take one of the two three-mile boardwalk trails that lead to the coast, where we can spot seals and gray whales during migratory months. Another short hike leads from the coast to Ericson’s Bay of Lake Ozette. No matter which trail we choose, we are sure to experience the stunning beauty of Olympic National Park.


Lake Ozette is the third-largest lake in Washington and offers excellent fishing opportunities for both novice and experienced anglers. The lake is home to several species of fish, including cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, and kokanee salmon. We can fish from the shore or rent a boat and explore the lake’s many coves and inlets. Before we start fishing, we should make sure to obtain the necessary permits and follow all fishing regulations.

Wildlife Viewing

Lake Ozette is home to a variety of wildlife, including black bears, elk, and bald eagles. We can spot these animals while hiking or paddling around the lake. The lake is also a popular spot for birdwatching, with over 200 species of birds recorded in the area. We should always remember to observe wildlife from a safe distance and not disturb their natural habitats.

No matter what activity we choose, camping at Lake Ozette is sure to be a memorable experience.

Nearby Attractions

When we go camping at Lake Ozette, we love to take advantage of the many nearby attractions. Here are some of our favorites:

Hiking Trails

The Ozette Triangle is a popular hiking destination, with several trails that offer stunning views of the surrounding wilderness. The Cape Alava Trail takes hikers through a coastal forest to a beautiful beach, while the Sand Point Trail offers views of sea stacks and wildlife. The Ozette Loop Trail is a longer, more challenging hike that takes hikers through old-growth forests, along beaches, and past historic petroglyphs.


The beaches around Lake Ozette are some of the most beautiful in the Pacific Northwest. Shi Shi Beach, located just north of the Ozette Indian Reservation, is a popular spot for surfing and beachcombing. Rialto Beach, located about 30 minutes south of Lake Ozette, is known for its dramatic sea stacks and tide pools.


Lake Ozette is home to several species of fish, including cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, and kokanee salmon. The lake is also connected to the Pacific Ocean by the Ozette River, which offers opportunities for salmon and steelhead fishing. Fishing licenses are required and can be purchased online or at local sporting goods stores.

Wildlife Viewing

The forests and beaches around Lake Ozette are home to a wide variety of wildlife, including bald eagles, otters, and Roosevelt elk. Visitors may also spot gray whales and orcas in the waters off the coast. Keep a safe distance from wildlife and follow Leave No Trace principles to help preserve the natural environment.

Cultural Sites

The Ozette Indian Reservation is located near Lake Ozette and is home to the Makah Tribe. Visitors can learn about the tribe’s history and culture at the Makah Cultural and Research Center in nearby Neah Bay. The center features exhibits on traditional Makah life, including fishing, hunting, and basket weaving.

Camping Lake Ozette: Our opionon

Camping Lake Ozette is a truly unforgettable experience that we highly recommend to anyone looking to escape into nature. With its serene lake, lush forests, and stunning coastline, this area of Olympic National Park is a true gem.

Whether you’re an experienced backpacker or a first-time camper, there’s something for everyone at Lake Ozette. The Ozette Loop trail offers a challenging but rewarding hike, while the Ozette Campground provides a more relaxed camping experience.

One of the best things about camping at Lake Ozette is the opportunity to disconnect from technology and reconnect with nature. With no cell service and limited wifi, you’ll have the chance to truly unwind and appreciate the beauty around you.

If you’re planning a trip to Lake Ozette, be sure to pack appropriately for the weather and terrain. We recommend bringing plenty of layers, as the weather can change quickly, as well as sturdy hiking boots and a good backpack.

Overall, we can’t recommend camping Lake Ozette enough. With its breathtaking scenery, peaceful atmosphere, and endless opportunities for adventure, it’s truly a must-visit destination for any nature lover.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some good beach camping spots on the Olympic Peninsula?

If you’re looking for a beach camping experience on the Olympic Peninsula, we recommend checking out Ozette Beach. It’s a beautiful spot with plenty of campsites available. You can also explore the nearby tide pools and enjoy a scenic hike along the coast.

What is the weather like at Lake Ozette?

The weather at Lake Ozette can vary depending on the time of year. Summers are typically mild with temperatures ranging from the mid-60s to low 70s Fahrenheit. Winters can be rainy and chilly with temperatures in the mid-40s to low 50s Fahrenheit. Be sure to check the forecast before your trip and pack accordingly.

How do I get to Lake Ozette?

Ozette Beach is a beautiful and secluded spot on the Olympic Peninsula. The beach is known for its towering sea stacks, tide pools, and scenic hiking trails. Camping is available at the nearby Ozette Campground.

You have a good recommendation on other camping trips and parks you want us to cover? Let us know in the comments!

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