One of the most stunning but least known stretches of American coastline, Flattery Rocks in Washington, north-western most of the United States, is nothing short of a revelation. Many of the rocks here are stony outcroppings uncovered when the tide is low. Others, however are lofty pinnacles scattered with salal shrubs, salmonberry and conifers.
On the south side of Cape Flattery you can find these remarkable sea stacks. A stack is formed through geomorphology – erosion which is totally natural. The inexorable force of water and wind slowly but surely created cracks in the headland. These cracks enlarged and forced a collapse, leaving the stacks isolated and standing alone.
The area consists of almost 900 islands and rocks, stretching for over a hundred miles along the state’s coast and it makes up part of the Olympia National Park. People are forbidden from exploring these small islands, most of which are designated as wilderness – and little wonder. The area is a critical haven for 14 species of seabirds which number over a million at peak times. This is not to mention mammals such as harbor seals and sea otters plus many a passing whale.
Wildlife simply abounds along this coastline, from Cape Flattery down to Cape Alava – hundreds of thousands of birds nest here each year including puffins, petrels, cormorants and gulls. In the winter, eagles and falcons nest and roost here. To protect them people must stay at least two hundred yards away from the protected islands, which form part of the Flattery Rocks National Wildlife Center.
Yet wait - there's more. From cape to cape (as it were), the area is positively crowded with sea stacks and more can be seen at nearby Cape Alava. Tskawahyah Island stands out particularly, with Bodelteh behind it.