Cape Flattery

Cape Flattery is the most northwest tip of the contiguous United States. Located on the Makah Nation at Neah Bay, the Cape offers stunning views of marine mammals, birds, and dramatic marine landscapes. A 3.5 mile trail winds from a parking lot to the tip of the Cape, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the entrance of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and Tatoosh Island.
  • To access the Cape Flattery Trail, follow the signs at the entrance to the Reservation. Be sure to buy a permit at the Makah Museum and Cultural Center.

Where the Whales Are

Cape Flattery offers a spectacular vantage to see marine mammals. From the lookout platform at the end of the trail, look down in any direction - you may see gray whales swimming below, or sea otters in the kelp beds. Further out, look for orcas or other whales passing near Tatoosh Island. Other places where you can see marine mammals at Neah Bay:

  • Makah Marina. Sea lions are often hauled out at docks in the Marina. Transient orcas have come into the marina in recent years, hunting the sea lions.

Sea-sound Node

The Makah Tribe participates in the sea-sound network, which is a series of hyrdophones placed at strategic locations around the Sound. By listening to orca calls on the hydrophones, listeners can detect which pods are present and where they are. These acoustic data are complementing photo-ID and other studies, and are especially valuable in the winter when visibility is poor. The hydrophone at Neah Bay is located near the Makah Museum and Cultural Center. Listen to it and other locations around the Sound at

Research and Interpretation

The Makah Tribe has a full-time marine biologist on staff, who conducts regular surveys of the marine mammals in the area. During the summer, members of the tribe serve as natural history guides on the Cape Flattery trail, educating visitors about marine mammals and Makah culture.

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  1. Penny Thayer : 09 October 2013 6:47PM

    Saw one large grey whale below the viewing platform at
    Cape flattery near noon today. And there three grey whales out near Tatoosh Is., probably one was the who was eating around the point. The large one was close enough to take pictures is it’s blow hole. Quite exciting sight!

    • donna : 10 October 2013 1:46AM

      That sounds amazing, Penny! Thanks so much for letting us know. Do you have any pictures you’d like to share? Would love to post them on the Cape Flattery page!

  2. Greg : 14 April 2013 9:49AM

    The trail is less than a mile, not 3.5 miles.

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The Whale Trail

Address / Contact

Makah Nation

Neah Bay, Washington

The Makah Nation

Whale Trail Features

The Whale Trail site is at Cape Flattery


  • camping
  • restrooms
  • lodging
  • trails
  • picnic-area

Marine Mammals Commonly Seen Here

Marine Mammals Occasionally Seen Here

Marine Mammals Rarely Seen Here

Travel Tips

Be sure to get a permit to hike the Cape Flattery Trail.
The Whale Trail is a nonprofit organization in partnership with
Partners NOAA Seattle Aquarium People for Puget Sound Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife The Whale Museum National Marine Sanctuaries