Friday, June 28, 2024

Along the Hood Canal in Washington

The Hood Canal is a natural fjord extending for about 50 miles (80 km) between Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains in Washington.  The canal has an average width of 1.5 miles (2.4 km), with numerous rivers flowing into it (Skokomish, Hamma Hamma, Duckabush, Dosewallips, Big Quilcene, Union, Tahuya, and Dewatto Rivers).  The area, with its fantastic mountain and water features, hosts plenty of outdoor activities, especially year-round hiking trails with incredibleviews.

We start our exploration of the Olympic Peninsula, heading toward the Olympic Nation Park, with a drive up the Hood Canal toward Port Townsend at the upper end, with a few stops in the Olympic National Forest and at several Washington State Parks along the canal.

Along the shore of the Hood Canal

Streams feeding the canal

Beaches covered with shellfish

15,000 years ago, this area was covered by a glacial ice sheet about a mile thick that scoured out what is now the Hood Canal.  This glacier, a part of the Northern Ice Sheet in Canada, dug the canal over about 1.5 million years and over the course of several different glacial advances.  As the weather warmed and the glacier receeded back into Canada, many glacial lakes and waterways were formed, including the Hood Canal.

Salmon in the canal

Olympic Mountains along the canal

We continue to follow the canal, stopping at Twanoh State Park and Potlatch State Park to view the water and shores of the canal.  These are small, delightful parks focused on water sports and relaxation.

Enjoying the parks

Potlatch State Park

No shelfish at this time

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