Neah Bay is best known for its recreational sports fishing, eco-friendly tourism, fantastic deep-sea diving, and site of the Makah Cultural and Research Center’s world-class Makah Museum. The waters off Neah Bay have some of the best halibut fishing in the lower 48 states. Bring your own boat and moor at the Makah Marina, a state-of-the-art 200-slip marina or book a charter for fishing salmon, halibut, ling-cod, sea-bass and other types of ocean fish.
The hike to Cape Flattery, the very northwest tip of the continental United States, is reached by a 20-30 minute walk across a combination of split cedar boardwalks and groomed earthen trail. At the end of the ¾ mile hike with moderate climbs are five observation platforms with cedar decks, benches and railing. The fabulous views to the Straits and Pacific Ocean and along the rocky coastline will be forever etched into your memory. The crashing of the waves against the rocky shore, the call of a wide variety of sea birds, sea-lions lazing on the rocks and during their migration Gray whales can all be experienced from this vantage point.
Directly across from the Cape Flattery look-out is Tatoosh Island. The Tatoosh name comes from a Makah chief of the same name and was occupied by the Makah Indians when fishing for halibut and hunting for whales. The lighthouse at Tatoosh first began operating December 28, 1957 and served as a guiding light for ships passing en route from the Pacific Ocean into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Lard oil was the first illuminate, followed by kerosene and then electricity.
The stretch of sandy beach at Hobuck and waves that lap the shore allows for a number of activities. Sea-kayaking, surfing, paddle-boards or swimming in the waves is very popular. You can walk or jog along the water’s edge, watch the variety of sea-birds that are always present or simply relax to the peaceful sound of nature’s symphony. Be sure to check the guides and explore the tide pools teeming with starfish, snails and small fish during the low tides.
The waters around Neah Bay are well-known within the diving community as some of the best in the Pacific Northwest for the fantastic visibility at times as much as 60 feet and the rich diversity of life beneath. Underwater rock formations, extensive kelp beds, large fish, as well as scallops, Dungeness crab, octopus, sea urchins, and moon snails are some of what you await you beneath. Being an experienced diver is important as the currents can be swift at these locations.
The Makah Tribe proudly opened the doors to the Makah Cultural and Research Center (MCRC) on June 6, 1979. The MCRC operates many different departments – Education, Makah Language, Tribal Historic Preservation, an Archives and the Makah Museum. The Museum houses about 1% of the items excavated at the Ozette village site during the 1970s by Washington State University in partnership with the Makah Tribe. The exhibits follow a seasonal flow complete with dioramas of sea lions and the beaches at Ozette as well as replicas that can be handled to get a feel for the quality of craftsmanship that goes into the making of the implements and household items. A full-sized longhouse has been constructed complete with bench planks, room dividers, and real smoked fish! The uneven floor is exactly as it was in the 300-500 year old house excavated at Ozette.
Makah Days are held annually the weekend closest to August 26th when there is a grand parade; canoe races; salmon baked in the traditional Makah-style before an open fire between split cedar sticks; traditional dancing; Indian gambling games played to the sound of the beating of drums and songs sung loudly to distract the opponents; as well as field games for the young people, a 5k walk and so much more! This is an ideal time to really get close to the people of the Makah Tribe and see the pride with which they carry out this annual celebration.
The rugged, natural coastline; pristine beauty; diversity of wildlife, plants and marine mammals; recreational opportunities; opportunity to become educated about the rich traditions and life of the Makah people and welcoming nature of the local community make Neah Bay an unrivaled destination on the Northwest coast!
Neah Bay is located at the far northwestern tip of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, and is the ancestral home and central hub of the Makah Indian Tribe. Overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the town is situated at one of the most remote and breathtaking coastlines of Washington!
Neah Bay can be reached from Port Angeles by traveling west on the Strait of Juan de Fuca Scenic Byway on Hwy 112 that hugs the Straits by way of a windy road through the town of Joyce and vast tracts of forested hills. Plan for a two-hour drive as there are many scenic pull-offs and opportunities for great photo-taking. From Forks, drive north on Hwy 101 to the Sappho Junction and then over Burnt Mountain and through the towns of Clallam Bay and Sekiu. It is about an hour’s drive from Forks to Neah Bay.