Oyster Lovers’ Adventure: Oyster Dome Hike and Oysters on the Beach

Atop Oyster Dome overlooking Samish Bay. San Juan Islands and Vancouver Island in the distance. B. Smithgall photo)

Oyster Dome is a polished promontory atop Blanchard Mountain with a stunning view of Samish Bay and the Salish Sea, including distant views to the San Juan Islands, Vancouver Island, and the Olympic Mountains. The bay at your feet hosts extensive oyster beds whose bounty you can enjoy after completing this moderately strenuous hike.

Deep forested trail leads to Oyster Dome. (T. Smithgall photo)

There are two ways to enjoy this adventure, and we’ll decide which is preferable to you based upon the alternative approaches.   The typical approach begins from the Samish Bay Overlook on Blanchard Mountain with magnificent views from the outset and then second-growth forest hiking on a moderate grade. This round-trip hike covers 5 miles with 1,050 feet of elevation gain.

A more vigorous approach adds another 1.5 trail miles and 1,000 additional feet of elevation on a section of switchbacks that are a segment of the Pacific Northwest Trail. In either case, the destination—Oyster Dome—is the same magnificent viewpoint where we’ll take our lunch (included).

After the hike, we’ll visit Taylor Shellfish Farms’ Samish Bay Oyster Bar and Shellfish Market, where you can feast on oysters, clams, or mussels at a beach-side table. Local beer and wine are also available.

Oyster Dome rises above Samish Bay along Chuckanut Drive, about 85 miles north of Seattle.


Hiker Level: 1  2  3  4

Round-trip travel time: 2.5 hours
Hiking time: 4 hours
Total time: 7 hours
Best season: Year round

Adventure pricing:
Solo:        $375.00
Duo:         $455.00
Trio:         $535.00
Quad:      $615.00

(Prices exclude Washington state sales tax)