History & Culture

A historical Makah Tribe petroglyph features a sailing ship on a jagged rock
Human presence on the Olympic Coast predates historical records and attests to Native American cultures' long and intricate relationship with the marine environment.

The sea and landscape of Washington’s Pacific coast have witnessed and, in cases, affected thousands of years of humanity. The rainforests and adjacent ocean of the western Olympic Peninsula have sustained and hosted some of the earliest human populations in North America, some whose descendants remain on the coast today. The shorelines witnessed a parade of western traders and ships, some of whom either lost their lives or found rescue on its shores. In addition, the peninsula’s lands sustained communities populated by people from Europe and the Eastern United States as the ancient lands were drawn into the burgeoning United States.