Cape Flattery Photo Tips

Cape Flattery is a must if you’re in Olympic National Park, especially if you’ve already made the journey to Shi Shi Beach. Just a 15 minute drive from Neah Bay or Hobuck Beach Resort and you’ll find yourself at the Cape Flattery trail head car park. Here are my Cape Flattery Photo Tips.

Getting There

From Port Angeles take the 101 West until you see a sign for 112. Take the right turn on to 112 and stay on it until you hit Neah Bay. You’ll pass through Clallum Bay and Sekiu before you reach Neah Bay.

Once you arrive at Neah Bay stop off at the Makha Indian Reserve Welcome Centre to pick up your park pass, it’s about $15 and worth every penny.  Next follow the signs for ‘Hobuck Beach Resort’ but instead of turning left on to bridge just keep going straight until you reach the first car park for Cape Flattery. You can also take the loop road right out of Neah Bay if you prefer to arrive from the opposite North direction. The full loop road is a little rough. Here is a map of the area.

The Trail

The trail at Cape Flattery is super easy and takes 5-10 minutes to get to the lookout at the end.

My top tip is to look out for an unofficial side trail on the left which branches off of the main trail just before you reach the first lookout. Follow this trail through the bush and you’ll come to a clearing which is where I made the image above. There’s nothing to obstruct your view of the amazing cove opening up below you and it’s a very easy detour.

Recommended Equipment

  • Polarizer – For control of reflections, glare and colour saturation.
  • ND Filter – For those milky water shots.
  • Wide Angle Lens


We stayed at the Hobuck Beach Resort which is the closest possible location for any kind of lodging. We used one of their small cabins which was decent for the price. The cabin was clean and everything worked. My only gripe was the speed of the WiFi which was very slow. I would imagine it gets booked up pretty quick in the spring and summer months so book early unless you plan to camp.


There is camping available at ‘Hobuck Beach Resort’ and ‘The Village RV’.

Published by Gavin Hardcastle

Gavin is a professional landscape photographer from Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, BC. He teaches photography workshops all over the world and writes extensively about his experiences on location. You can read his photo guides and tutorials here at


  1. […] Be sure to visit Cape Flattery while you’re in the area. It’s another stunning location and very easy to reach. Click here to read my post on Cape Flattery. […]

  2. I don’t think it was mentioned that this is the farthest northwest point in the lower 48. Well worth a visit even without those bragging rights. You can feel the waves crashing in the caves beneath you while taking in the absolutely stunning views. It can be tricky getting on the correct road heading out of Neah Bay, but the locals all seemed willing to help out when I got turned around. I bought some fresh smoked salmon from one of them, best fish I’ve ever had!

  3. Thank you for the beautiful photos and the directions to the locations. Jumped to your website from the recent article in DPS.

  4. Stunning photos! I’ve been but have not photographed anything like this. I will try harder. Thanks for sharing! Do you stack the polarizer and ND filter?

  5. Thanks Gavin for the great tips. I have more research to do but I’m headed up there soon enough. Was this shot at sunrise or sunset, may I ask? Thanks again!


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