The owner/manager of The Lost Resort at Lake Ozette is not Mr. Hospitality, but you have to give him credit for living out in the middle of untouched natural beauty.
Lake Ozette is about as far out there as you can get on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State: deer, bear and cougar country, towering Old Growth forests and Native American tribal land. If you take the 10-mile hike through the rain forest out to the Pacific Coast, you will see centuries-old petroglyphs carved in the stones along the beach (if you know where to look; they’re not advertised).
If you’re lucky, you might spot some whales on their spring/summer migration. At the very least, you will hear the seals barking in the distance.
For some, Lake Ozette will be just too far away from modern conveniences. There is no cell service, and Wi-Fi only if you sit in or near the one little grocery store at the Lost Resort.
The lake itself is completely undeveloped: no beaches, no houses, just deer and water and forest all around. Take it or leave it.
The best way to approach this immense lake is to bring a kayak and see it from the inside out. HOWEVER, be prepared to use your voice to yell for help if you get into trouble (and at the same time be prepared for no one listening).
There are three little cabins at the Lost Resort, with comfortable beds and a little electric stove. You can be warm and dry in the rain forest. Each of these three cedar cabins, set in the forest and away from the lake, has a little covered porch, a fire pit and a picnic table, so you can huddle around a campfire at night and tell scary bear stories before sending your sticky s’more-covered children to bed.
The bathrooms at the resort are located near the little store, so you will have to walk through the woods a bit to reach them. Be sure to bring your flashlight (and bear spray). At night the frogs are loud and threatening, but I think they’re harmless.
Even though I grew up on the Olympic Peninsula, I had never explored Lake Ozette until this year. It’s wild, untamed, and beautiful. If your idea of getting away from it all is to leave your cell phone and computer behind for a while, then Lake Ozette might be just what you’re looking for.
Just remember, it’s often raining in the rain forest, so come prepared.