Oyster Dome

A moderate day hike just south of Bellingham in the Chuckanut Mountains. The trail heads steeply up Blanchard Mountain to reach a viewpoint and some bat caves. Continue on to North Butte and/or loop back past Lily Lake and the Samish Overlook to extend your trip.

getting there

samish overlook Day Use Area

Take Exit 240 off of I-5 and drive west on Lake Samish Road.Turn left onto Barrel Springs Road, drive 0.6 mile, and turn right onto  Blanchard Hill Trail Road. Drive 1.7 miles, turn left onto DNR Road B-2000, and drive 2.2 miles to the Samish Overlook Day Use Area. This is the preferred starting point and is recommended by Washington DNR. There are parking for 20 cars, vault toilets, and picnic tables.

Oyster Dome Trailhead

From Bellingham: Take Exit 250 off of I-5 south of Bellingham and turn west onto Old Fairhaven Parkway. Drive 0.1 mile, turn left onto 30th St and drive 1 mile (30th St becomes 32nd St).  Turn right onto Old Samish Rd, drive 0.6 mile, turn left onto Chuckanut Drive (SR-11) and drive 11 miles south to the  Oyster Dome Trailhead (200 ft).
From Mount Vernon: Take Exit 231 off of I-5 north of Mount Vernon and drive 10 miles north on Chuckanut Drive (SR-11) to the Oyster Dome Trailhead (200 ft).

on the trail

Samish Overlook

5.0 miles round trip, 1,050 feet of elevation gain, 2,025 ft high point

Hike the Pacific Northwest Trail for 0.4 mile miles and then right onto the Samish Bay Trail. In a half mile, stay right and then a half mile later turn left and continue on to Oyster Dome.

OysterDome Trailhead

6.5 miles round trip, 1,900 feet of elevation gain, 2,025 ft high point

Hike the Pacific Northwest Trail for 1.6 miles and then left onto the Samish Bay Trail. In a half mile, stay right and then a half mile later turn left and continue on to Oyster Dome.

Loop Return Option

Consider taking Max's Shortcut which will let you loop back past Lily Lake and the Samish Overlook on the Pacific Northwest trail. This adds about 2 miles to your trip.

Extend Your Trip

Consider continuing on to North Butte, a much less visited and crowded viewpoint, about a mile from the Oyster Dome-Samish Connector Trail junction. Hiking this as a loop is 10 miles with 2,500 feet of elevation gain and a high point of 2,220 ft.

Notes

  • The bat caves near Oyster Dome are quite hazardous. Enjoy them from a distance.
  • Hang gliders and paragliders take off from the Samish Overlook when the wind is favorable.
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Length: 6.5 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,900 ft
  • 2,025 ft
  • Land Manager: Blanchard Forest
  • Parking Permit Required: Discover Pass
  • Recommended Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Route/Place Capacity: 12
Map
  • USGS Bellingham South
  • USGS Bow
  • Trails of the Chuckanut Mountains
  • Chuckanut Mountain Recreation Map
Activities

Upcoming Activities

CHS Tacoma July Hikes - Oyster Dome

Day Hiking Field trip: Conditioning Hiking Series
Trip will initially open to Tacoma Branch Conditioning Hiking Students. Trip will open for registration
Difficulty: Moderate
Sun, Jul 25, 2021
No Prerequisites
4 participants
Registration closes Jul 23
Tacoma Branch

GoHike Hiking Trip - 3-7 miles, <1,500 feet - Oyster Dome

Day Hiking Field trip: GoHike: Beginner Hiking Series
Join us for this moderate day hike of 5 miles and 1050 feet of gain
Difficulty: Moderate
Fri, Sep 10, 2021
No Prerequisites
7 participants
Registration opens Aug 20
Foothills Branch
Trip Reports
Titles

This is a list of titles that represent the variations of trips you can take at this route/place. This includes side trips, extensions and peak combinations. Not seeing a title that fits your trip? Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.

  • Oyster Dome & North Butte
  • Oyster Dome-Samish Overlook Loop
  • North Butte-Samish Overlook Loop
  • Oyster Dome-North Butte-Samish Overlook Loop
Resources

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