Above: Here's Cape Flattery, along with the north-northwesternmost and west-northwesternmost points on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. (0:43)
The west-northwesternmost point of the contiguous United States is located about 0.4 miles southwest of Cape Flattery on the Olympic Peninsula in northwestern Washington.
- I visited the west-northwesternmost point on May 1, 2016. To read my article and see my photos, click here.
- The coordinates are: 48° 22.969' N, 124° 43.850' W
- To see a Google Map of the north-northwesternmost point, click here.
If You Go:
The west-northwesternmost point of the contiguous United States is located on the Makah Indian Reservation. It's located about 0.8 miles northwest of the Cape Flattery Road, the closest access, but there's no trail to the point. The Makah ask all visitors to stay on designated trails on the reservation, so it's not possible for the public to reach this point. Thick underbrush make it virtually impossible to get to the point, anyway. The closest the public can get to this point is the Cape Flattery viewing platform, which is 0.4 miles to the northeast.
To reach the west-northwesternmost point, take U.S. Highway 101 to Highway 112 and drive to Neah Bay, Washington. Be sure to buy a Recreation Pass for the Makah Indian Reservation in Neah Bay. It costs $10 and is good for a year, and the proceeds are used to help maintain the recreational facilities on the Makah Reservation. You can buy the pass at several places in Neah Bay, including the marina and Washburn's General Store. You'll get a map with the pass, which you can use to find this point, located near Cape Flattery.
The route to Cape Flattery, the northwesternmost point of the contiguous United States, is well-marked, so to get there, just follow the signs. The road is paved and in good condition all the way to the parking lot. From the parking lot, follow the trail to the end. Once at the Cape Flattery viewing platform, the west-northwesternmost point is the promontory of land located 0.4 miles to the southwest.
There is one side-trail from the main Cape Flattery trail that offers a nice view of the west-northwesternmost point. About 0.25 miles before you reach the Cape Flattery viewing platform, the side-trail goes to the south. In fact, it's the only side-trail that goes to the south, so you can't miss it. There's a smaller viewing platform here and you can see the west-southwesternmost point in the distance, along with a group of rocky islands in the foreground. However, this point is about 60 feet further away than the point at Cape Flattery. So in other words, it offers a great view but it's a bit further away than the Cape Flattery viewing platform.
The West-Northwesternmost Point
Above: The west-northwesternmost point is about 0.4 miles southwest of Cape Flattery on the Makah Indian Reservation. There's no trail to the point, so the public isn't allowed here. The closest you can get to this point is at the Cape Flattery viewing platform, about 0.4 miles to the northeast. I created the blue line, with a bearing of 22.5 degrees, to help me determine the north-northwesternmost point. It's hard to tell which of these rocky promontories is the west-northwesternmost point, but I used my "rule" of considering only land above the high-tide line.