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.
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.
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 Sea-Sound.net.
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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