We had to do it. Every Northwesterner feels the urge…the urge to drive out to the most northwest point in the contiguous US - Cape Flattery.
Located in Washington state, Cape Flattery is part of the Makah Indian Reservation and although it's in Western Washington like Seattle, it's still a whopping 4 hours and 24 minutes away. If you live in the state, the drive and experience is a ritual you must participate in...eventually. It took us 10 years of living in the state before we made the trip!
As you get close you'll enter the Makah Indian Reservation. This was one of the big reasons we wanted to make the trip out here - to check out the Makah Museum - we heard it was great (it is). It's probably a good idea to read the giant "Recreational Use Permit" sign on the side of the road as you enter the Res. The permit is kind of a toll for visiting. A few local businesses sell it for anyone who wants to park a car on the reservation (which is you if you're visiting). If you plan to check out Cape Flattery, you'll need one (I carelessly drove past the giant sign, parked at the Cape, hiked, and returned without getting a ticket…but I think I just got lucky).
The hike out to the Cape viewpoint is mostly boardwalk and pretty easy. There's lots of smaller side-lookouts to enjoy as you make your way to the point.
The view from the final viewing platform (picture below) is of Tatoosh Island and the Cape Flattery Light - the northernmost lighthouse on the West Coast of the US.
As far a views go, well, that's about it. Far more stunning were the views to Canada and the north on the drive out. Other than that, Cape Flattery, to be honest, isn't that grand…but we had to do it, we had to!
Way cooler is the Makah Museum - so far the best Native American Museum we've ever been to, and worth the adventure out here in the first place. Sadly they don't allow photography inside the museum so I don't have any pics from the inside:(
The museum is large and has lots of exhibit space, a cool gift shop, and great interactive stuff for the kiddos. They've done a great job and I can't wait to go back. Because of the 4 1/2 hours it takes to get here from Seattle, you might want to venture out as part of a bigger trip. Whether staying a night in a nearby cabin, camping on the coast, or hitting up a nearby Northwest Inn, it's a nice addition to the agenda. We finally made it and you will too…eventually!
~Paul & Amber ETC
(P.S. Don't let this museum website scare you - it's old - the museum is 10 times more modern than this site…seriously!)
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