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Oyster Dome Trail, WA

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Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List WA > North Cascades
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 6.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 167 feet
Elevation Gain 2,048 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,300 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 18
Interest Seasonal Creek, Perennial Creek & Peak
Backpack Connecting Only
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
10  2012-05-14 seattlehiker
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Preferred   Jul, Aug, Jun, Sep
Seasons   ALL
Sun  7:51am - 4:14pm
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Water
Nearby Area Water
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1,000 ft
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Pine and Cedar Lakes Trail
Pine and Cedar Lakes Trail
5.7 mi away
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1,500 ft
Stimpson Family Nature Reserve - Main Loop
Stimpson Family Nature Reserve - Main Loop
8.9 mi away
2.8 mi
410 ft
Padilla Bay Trail
9.1 mi away
4.8 mi
Cascade Trail
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The Trails of Cypress Island
12.7 mi away
20.0 mi
Whistle Lake Trail
12.9 mi away
6.5 mi
Sugarloaf Trail
13.3 mi away
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660 ft
Sugarloaf Mountain Trail
13.8 mi away
200 ft
[ View More! ]
Climb to great views of the sound
by seattlehiker

An exposed hunk of sheer cliff on Blanchard Mountain, Oyster Dome is an intriguing and scenic natural landmark. Its base is littered with jumbled boulders, talus fields, and bat-breeding caves. And from atop, views abound of the Sound, mountains, and a smorgasbord of islands. A popular hiking destination year-round, Oyster Dome is the pearl of the Chuckanut Mountains. With limited parking in the pull-outs along the road, you'll want to arrive early on weekends to find a spot to park.

The hike begins on the Pacific Northwest Trail, a 1200-mile long-distance trail-in-the-making from the Olympic Coast to Montana's Glacier National Park. There's a cool little stone marking the trail at the start. There is no mystery to this hike as you begin climbing immediately away from the road through the dense forest.


In about 1 mile reach a small ledge with big views out to the San Juan Islands and Olympic Mountains. There's even a bench for you to stop and soak in the view. In another 0.5 mile reach a signed junction (elev. 1100 ft). Head left on the Samish Bay Connection Trail (follow the sign for Lilly Lake) if you want to go straight to the dome. Or if you prefer a short detail, head right for 0.5 miles to nice and recently renovated viewpoint complete with restrooms and nice bench. This is also the end of the 5 mile Blanchard Hill Trail road. This is popular launching point for hang gliders. After you soak in the views, head back the way to came to previous junction, keeping to the right to continue the climb to Oyster Dome.

During this next stretch the grade steepens as you make your way toward the top. After one particularly long, steep climb you come to another junction. Head left on the Rock Trail. Pass rusty old cable and other logging relics. Cross a small creek, then make one final push, breaking out of the forest onto the rim of the open promontory. Be careful. Keep children and dogs nearby. Spread out before you are the San Juan Islands, Fildalgo Island, Whidbey Island, Vancouver Island, the snow-capped Olympic Mountains, the Skagit River flats and a whole lot of saltwater.

seattlehiker
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.


    Directions
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    Road
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Mount Vernon head north on I-5 to exit 231. Follow State Route 11 (Chuckanut Drive) north for 10.2 miles. The trailhead is on the right side of the road just after passing milepost 10. There is parking on the left (west) shoulder of the highway. If you're coming from Bellingham follow SR 11 south for 11.5 miles to the trailhead (elev. 100 ft). The trailhead is about 300ft south of Oyster bar.
    page created by seattlehiker on May 14 2012 9:34 pm
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