Neah Bay is the heart of the Makah reservation, your passport to the most northwestern tip of the continental U.S. Juan de Fuca and the Pacific Ocean surround Neah Bay which is why tourists flock to this town; to come big game fishing and stare in awe of the gorgeous coastline. The Makah tribe has a museum upon entering their reservation that is packed full of history and artifacts. The recreation permit is for sale here and this is needed to participate in the hikes and beaches located within the reservation.
A short hike, 3/4 mile, will take you to the most northwest tip of the continental U.S. This trail cuts through the rainforest and opens up to rugged cliffs that overlook Tatoosh Island. The trail is well paved and consists mostly of a boardwalk straight to the end. A couple picnic tables are there to eat lunch once you reach the lookouts. There is a lookout in every direction along with a deck you can climb up. We met a guy from the reservation who was telling stories of the land up here. I could spend all day looking in the different directions and soaking in the turquoise colors of the ocean crashing against the cliffs.
Exploring The Cliffs
I could see some people to the south on top of the cliffs as I was on the main trail back. I wanted to make my way over there as it was less crowded and provided an open view. So I went off the path a little bit and found a beaten trail that looped to the other cliffs. We made our way through the path to find solitude sitting on the rocks across from the main lookout. While sitting down on a rock, I looked over and saw a rope tied to a tree, allowing you to repel down the cliffs. This was the only visible access point to get down and decided it was worth the risk.
Upon descending down, you can feel the mist from the waves crashing at your feet. You can see Tatoosh Island as you reach the tip of the rock. This was my favorite part of the trail. We sat here and had a picnic before others caught on and made their way down. I’m so glad we were able to find this small slice of paradise.