Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Lake Cushman and Dosewallips State Park

As we travel up the Hood Canal, we take a slight diversion into the Olympic National Forest to view Lake Cushman, with panoramic views of the lake just a short distance from the canal.  Lake Cushman is about 10 miles (16 km) long at an elevation of 739 feet (255m) above sea level and is surrounded by Mount Ellinor, Mount Washington, Cub Peak, Mount Gladys, and Mount Rose.  The lake is on the north fork of the Skokomish River and was formed by a glacial trough that was blocked off by a terminal moraine during the most recent ice age.

We drive up to the lake and admire the great views.

Lake Cushman

Returning from Lake Cushman to the Hood Canal, we continue up the canal to Dosewallips State Park, another recreation area on the canal.

Oyster season now

We follow the short path through the park to the shore.

Path to the shore

At the shore, we find five miles of shoreline with instructions on clamming (limit of 40 clams or 3 geoduck clams) and advice to avoid of elk herds that wander through (stay 100 feet (30 meters) away and do not offer food).

Observation platform


More infomational signs in the park describe the harbor seals which live in the canal year-round and dine off the Pacific hake in the canal.


Information about shellfish harvesting highlights a great Northwest tradition that began long before European settlers reached the area.  Dosewallips Park is rich in shellfish resources, with around 268,000 pounds of clams and 3,500,000 oysters harvested annually.  The most common shelfish harvested on the Dosewallips beach are Manila, littleneck, and geoduck clams and Pacific oysters.

Shellfish tradition

We admire the shoreline and wander back through the park toward the parking lot.

Park shoreline and streams

View of the mountains

Back through the forest

This park provides more wonderful scenery along the Hood Canal on the edge of the national forest and national park.  What a great way to begin our journey around the Olympic Peninsula.

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