Oyster Dome Trail

Samish, Washington

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1 Review
3 out of 5
A glacial-polished and fractured 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. Through a uniform forest of second-growth conifers, gain elevation steadily. A few giant snags and remnant firs stand testament to the cathedral forests that once blanketed this region. The trail is well constructed and maintained, thanks not to the government but to dedicated volunteers.
Day Hiking: North Cascades

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Day Hiking: North Cascades

by Craig Romano (The Mountaineers Books)

A glacial-polished and fractured 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.

Through a uniform forest of second-growth conifers, gain elevation steadily. A few giant snags and remnant firs stand testament to the cathedral forests that once blanketed this region. The trail is well constructed and maintained, thanks not to the government but to dedicated volunteers.

©  Craig Romano/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Samish
Length: 6.5
Elevation Gain: 1,900 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Season: Year-round
Trailhead Elevation: 10 feet
Top Elevation: 2,025 feet
Local Contacts: Department of Natural Resources, Northwest Region (Sedro- Woolley)
Local Maps: USGS Bow
Topo Map: Oyster Dome Trail Topographic Map
Guide Book: Day Hiking: North Cascades Guide Book
Driving Directions: View Directions
Trail Directions: View Guide

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Recent Trail Reviews

5/18/2008

There were already several cars parked at the side of the road when we arrived at the trailhead at about 9:30 AM. Throughout the course of the day we saw many people, most with unleashed dogs (Arrgh!). Initially, the trail is well maintained and easy to follow (albeit rather steep). After you head up the left fork onto the Samish Bay Connection Trail/Oyster Dome Trail, the trail gets more rugged. It's still easy to follow, but expect a lot of rocks and roots to slow you down. We took the side trail to the Bat Caves, which is mostly just a bunch of large boulders with dark recesses. Nevertheless, the view of Oyster Dome from its base made it worthwhile. When we got to the top of Oyster Dome at about 12:30, there were already four other groups up there eating lunch. Despite the overcast day, the view was spectacular. Well worth the climb. After lunch we continued east a short ways to Lily Lake, and then followed the Pacific Northwest (PNW) Trail back down the mountain. On this portion we had to step aside twice to allow a group of mountain bikers to pass. There were also several piles of horse manure to step around. Still, it was well worth the extra two miles. The PNW Trail is much less rugged and steep than the Oyster Dome Trail. Also, in addition to enjoying the spectacular view from the Samish Overlook, we got to watch a couple of paragliders takeoff. Overall, this was a nice hike and the views made it well worth the effort. If not for crowds with their unleashed dogs, mountain bikers, and horse manure, I would have probably given this hike four stars.

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