8 Great Things to Do at Hood Canal
Vacation on the shores of Hood Canal in the foothills of the Olympic Mountains. Where you can enjoy your vacation in classic Pacific Northwest style: Seafood, Beachcombing, Hiking in mountain forests and river valleys, Viewing waterfalls, Kayaking, Boating, and experiencing Hood Canal's natural beauty and its Wildlife. Hood Canal is only 2 hours from Seattle and 3 hours from Portland, but a world apart from the bustle of the city. Are you ready to explore the 8 great things to do here? Let’s go....
Crab season is usually July 1 through Labor Day, Wednesday-Monday. Want to know everything you need to know about crabbing? The dates, rules, regulations, locations are all available at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website. You will need a shellfish license and crab catch record card. The earlier in the season you go, the better your chances of getting the best, most delicious Dungeness Crab!
Hood Canal is known for it oysters and clams. Are there low tides during your stay? Go to the Tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov website and search for Quilcene and Hood Canal. Gathering clams and oysters is practical during the daytime on tides lower than 2 feet, although minus tides are better. Daytime low tides occur between March through October. If you'd like to try shellfishing, bring old tennis shoes, rubber boots, or aqua socks to wear on the beach. Our beaches are full of oysters, the shells can be sharp, so be careful. Bring a bucket and a rake to get clams. On most beaches you can just rake down to the clams. Don't forget your shellfish license. You can buy them at the Brinnon store. You can buy an annual license or a 1-3 day license. Once again, check the WDFW.WA.Gov website for dates, rules, regulations and locations. Or check with your local clam expert for tips.
The Brinnon Shrimpfest is celebrated on Memorial Day weekend each year. Help us celebrate the short, but sweet Spot Shrimp season this year! Shrimpfest features Hood Canal Shrimp for sale, craft and food booths, Belt sander races, exhibits, live music, kids activities and more. See the BrinnonShrimpfest.org website for details. If you want to be adventurous and try shrimping yourself, watch the shrimping page on WDFW.WA.Gov for dates in May. Or, give us a call.
Experience Forest fresh air, vista views from the Olympic Mountain trails overlooking Hood Canal. Its a hikers paradise with easy to difficult trails to explore for all ages. Bring your camera and check out these local classic waterfall hikes: Rocky Brook Falls, Falls View, and Murhut Falls. Or, check out the Olympic Peninsula, Hood Canal region on the Washington Trails Association website, WTA.org.
Our local advice:
In the Spring we recommend river and waterfall hikes to witness the spring runoff. Look for trails around the Dosewallips, Duckabush rivers. Especially Rocky Brook and Murhut Falls.
In the Summer visit the mountain vistas that are finally accessible when the snow melts. The most popular are Mt Townsend, Mt Ellinor, and Mt Walker.
Fall Hikes are all beautiful with fall colors. Some go for the mushroom harvest in the more shady trails: Duckabush, Dosewallips.
Winter hikes are lowland hikes often follow the river. Many people make it a family tradition to hunt for their xmas tree in the Olympic National forest. Check with the local ranger station for tree permits.
Popular launch sites include Pt Whitney, Pleasant Harbor, Seal Rock Campground, Yelviks Boat ramp near Bee Mill Road, Dosewallips State Park, and Triton Cove. Kayak Brinnon provides kayak rentals and tours from Yelviks beach in Brinnon and will deliver kayaks on Hood Canal to locations between Quilcene to the north and Potlatch to the south.
There are many types of sea life and birds to view. And, often our local elk herd are present near Dosewallips State Park.
If you are bringing your own boat and staying at a vacation rental, be sure to ask us where you can park your boat. Some homes may have room, but not all of them. Boat Launches are located at Pleasant Harbor, Quilcene Marina, Point Whitney, Port Gamble, and Potlatch. Or, rent a boat with Narwhal Boats.
Birds frequent the tidelands around Hood Canal and can be spotted on your hikes through the Olympic National Park and Forest. Common visitors are Eagles and Heron. Stop off at the visitor center/ranger station in Quilcene for birding guides and maps. Black Bears, deer, elk can often be seen. Sea life includes seals, cute sea otters, and occasional visits from Orca whales.
Enjoy Friends and Family
No matter what you do, our vacation rentals offer the perfect setting for special get togethers with family and friends. Share special moments in the forests and mountains. Take a day trip to the Victorian seaport of Port Townsend. Explore Lake Cushman and the Olympic National park entrance from Hoodsport. Take a trip to Pacific Ocean beaches from historic Highway 101. Or travel to Canada via the Port Angeles ferry to Victoria, British Columbia. You'll be certain to make memories that will last a lifetime.