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Ozette River Steam Donkey

A cache by Shep & Kyle Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 06/17/2003
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Size: Size:   virtual (virtual)

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How Geocaching Works

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Geocache Description:


You first need to go to the Ozette ranger station to get your camping pass (required) and, if you already don’t have one, a bear proof canister (no bears, just crazy raccoons). Then, take the Cape Alava Trail out to the coast. The trail is 3.3 miles on a well maintained boardwalk. Along the Cape Alava Trail on your way to the coast there are three other geocaches that you might want to visit: Nylund’s Grave, Rooses’s Homestead, and Ahlstroms Homestead - all by Nrobin.

Once at Cape Alava, you can set up your camp. There are ample camping spots and outhouses for your use. We advise that you stay here awhile and explore the Cape Alava beach area. Cannon Ball Island (only accessible with a low tide) is quite interesting with its canon ball shaped rocks, the Makah Ranger Station is occasionally open during the summer months, and next-door to the Makah Ranger Station is an Indian hut with cool beach finds like whale ribs, neat shells, etc.

Ready to do some serious geocaching? Head north to the Ozette River. Make sure that you check your TIDE TABLE so that the tide is LOW. Then safely cross the Ozette River out in the surf where the current is not too strong. You must be VERY careful when crossing because the current often moves faster than it might appear to be.

Once safely on the other side, you will see some campgrounds and an old boiler. Note: This is NOT the steam donkey! Find a faint, old path that parallels the river. If you have good eyes you may be able to spot an old telegraph wire that is on the ground, and sometimes buried. Follow this trail to get to the steam donkey.

GPS reception may be poor and you might lose the trail so make sure that you have DETAILED MAPS of the area with you. If you do lose the trail just remember: the steam donkey is close to the river and about 100' away from the park boundary with the Makah Indian Reservation. Follow the river downstream to get back to the coast.

When you find the steam donkey, give yourself a pat on the back and think that you have found something that most people hardly know about!

DO NOT attempt follow the path back to the lake (as temping as it might seem). The path soon disappears and you will find yourself embroiled in cross-country-way-finding-no-gps-reception mayhem in what might seem like the Pacific-Northwest version of the Amazon Rainforest. Other geocachers before you have learned (with much personal injury) trying to get back to the lake this way is an unadvisable course of action.

Question: Since this cache is a virtual cache, you must answer this question. Walk 50’ on the trail upriver past the steam donkey. What does the sign on the tree say? If you log your find but do not e-mail me the answer to this question within seven days your log will be deleted. Contact me either at or via

History: Steam power was introduced to logging operations in the early 1900's in the form of a small steam donkey that replaced bull teams and horses. Steam donkey engines created the steam that powered winches. They were used to yard and load large logs from the woods to the railway landing.

Some were very big, with several steam engines and single large boilers on one set of timber skids. Steam also powered other logging equipment such as steam shovels for road construction and steam locomotives to haul the logs by rail.
In the 1930's, gas/diesel-powered machines replaced steam donkeys. By the 1950's, steam had disappeared from the forests.

The Ozette River steam donkey pulled the massive logs out of the forest and into the river. Then the logs were floated down river to the coast to be loaded onto ships.

If you have any question on how to get there, or anything else, please feel free to contact me at or via

Stining nettles are on the trail and around the cache . So be careful!

Additional Hints (No hints available.)

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