Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
6.00 mi (9.66 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Some say that the Chuckanut Mountains are the only place where the Cascades meet the sea. Others disagree. Whatever the case, Chuckanut and Blanchard stand triumphantly over Samish Bay, offering spectacular views of the San Juan Islands. It is here, atop Blanchard Mountain, that Oyster Dome’s 200-foot rock cliff overlook awaits.

Hikers can thank Conservation Northwest and other local organizations for protecting Blanchard Mountain from a logging threat in 2006. Rusty cables lie beside the trail in places, a sobering reminder to users. The trail is also flanked by enormous boulders, and you'll find an interpretive sign discussing the area's Ice Age geological history. Watch for soaring eagles and hawks above, and look for chipmunks and garter snakes below. Owls have even been spotted on the trail after dark.

Oyster Dome is not an easy hike. Gaining approximately 2,000 feet in 3 miles, the trail is steep, rocky, and full of roots. Any work on the trail is well worth the reward at the top, however. Panoramic views atop the dome span from Skagit County flats to Canada’s Vancouver Island and the Olympic Mountains. From here, watching the sunset over Samish Bay is breathtaking. If you do hike out at dusk, bring a flashlight. It’s a long way down!

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

Washington Discovery Pass

Pros

Great views of the San Juan Islands.

Cons

None.

Trailhead Elevation

120.00 ft (36.58 m)

Net Elevation Gain

1,900.00 ft (579.12 m)

Features

Bird watching
Wildlife
Big vistas
Geologically significant

Location

Field Guide

Comments

06/16/2017
The Ascent from Chuckanut isn't the only route. For a less steep, but longer hike try approaching off of Barrel Springs road. There are multiple trail heads and plenty of parking off of the NWFS roads, also making the trails accessible to equestrians and mountain bikes.
Such an awesome trail network. Thanks for introducing me to it!
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