There are few physical reminders of our state’s ancient past. While there are ways to experience ancient natural history like collecting your own crystals or digging for fossils, there isn’t much evidence of our state’s ancient human past. One of the rare exceptions being the Ozette petroglyphs at Wedding Rocks.
The petroglyphs are accessible via an 8.7-mile out-and-back trail in Olympic National Park. While their exact age is unknown, they are relatively close to an Ozette Makah village which was buried by a landslide 500 years ago. They depict a variety of images that were important to the earlier inhabitants of an Ozette village. Some of the images you’ll see carved into rocks include depictions of orca whales, clam shells, planets, and even what may be masted ships, perhaps that of early Spanish explorers.
The Ozette petroglyphs can be found carved into boulders strewn along the shore and spotting them is a bit like a real-time game of eye spy. Not all are easily visible and it’s worth taking the time to walk around the beach and see just how many you can count. Psst, it’s believed there are around 40 of them.
Keep in mind that this hike takes over three hours and with all coastal hikes it is very important to know your tide tables. Do your research before you go and make sure you have the appropriate gear. With that, enjoy, and be sure to let us know how many of the Ozette petroglyphs you spot.