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Trip Report    

Sea Kayak - Hood Canal Triple Cross

This is a beautiful winter paddle with spectacular views of the Olympic Mountains and abundant wildlife. There is ample parking and very little marine traffic at the Misery Point Boat Launch.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Although much higher winds were predicted prior to the trip, the actual wind speed did not exceed 5 knots at any time during the crossings. Because the winds were predicted to increase throughout the day, we completed the longest crossing, 3 nm, from Misery Point to Dosewallips first. The return crossings, from Dosewallips mud flats to  Tskutsko Point (Toandos Peninsula)  and back to Misery Point, are 2 nm with less fetch. The return route between Toandos Peninsula and Misery Point also affords spectacular views of Mount Constance (7,735),  the Brothers (6,855) and Mount Ellinor (5,940). The higher elevations had a dusting of snow. Checking and comparing various weather models (such as National Marine weather and Windy) is important here because there are wide variations between different weather reporting sources.

    Very high tides (12.32) at 9:45 am allowed us to paddle a short distance up the main channel of the Dosewallips River. However, we observed that as the tide ebbed the velocity of the Dosewallips River quickly  increased exposing drops, waterfalls, and abrupt turns. This made it challenging to paddle back downstream. The main stem of the Dosewallips River  is safest to  explore at high tide, exit quickly, and then land at the calm channel at the south edge of the park near the picnic tables restrooms for a lunch stop.

As we paddled east from the Dosewallips mud flats we were met by at least 7 juvenile California sea lions that  followed us to the middle of the Canal barking loudly. Other wildlife included eagles, herons, and many winter birds.

We eliminated the usual stop at Pleasant Harbor (south of Dosewallips State Park) due to limited day length, December 20th. This allowed a more leisurely stop on  Toandos Peninsula