Shellfishing Hood Canal

Shellfishing Hood Canal

Shellfishing Hood Canal

Spring sun, Hood Canal and daytime low tides. A recipe for a fine getaway to Hood Canal with the main course being Shellfish, of course. The warmer temperatures mean the snow levels go up, providing access to Hood Canal’s finest mountain trails with outstanding vista views. The melting snow rushes down rivers and supercharges the waterfall hikes. The Washington state flower, the rhododendron, provides a rosey pink background and a feast for your eyes.

But more about Hood Canal Shellfish. Washington shellfish are sought by consumers around the world and are a well-deserved source of pride for local growers. Shellfish are also a key part of our marine ecosystems, providing habitat and helping filter and cleanse water. For all of these reasons, shellfish are an extraordinary resource for Washington state to exclaim. Hood Canal is famous for its oysters and manilla clams which are easy to get at low tide. Most years we start on Easter with our traditional Easter egg and clam hunt. This year, daytime low tides continue through April 6th, then again 16th-22nd. Coinciding with Washington Shellfish week April 15th – 21st and culminating with the Hood Canal Hama Hama Oyster rama on the 21st. Buy your shellfish license, check out the Public Beaches or stay at a waterfront vacation rental with your own beach. If shellfish hunting isn’t your thing, you can always buy your seafood at Hama Hama or Taylor Shellfish farm. Or dine your way around the Olympic Peninsula following the OlympicCulinaryLoop which includes Olympic Peninsula Wineries, Breweries and Distilleries.


Shellfish/Low tides

List of Beaches
Rules and Limits
Clam and Oyster season at Public Beaches
Daytime low tides
Celebrating all things shellfish during Washington Shellfish Week from April 15 – April 21, 2018


Finish off the perfect Hood Canal April with a toast at one of our many wineries during the Olympic Peninsula Wine, Cider and Cheese Tour, April 29-30.


Things to do around the south part of the canal
Things to do around the north part of the canal
Stay local and stay a few more days and take some day trips to Port Townsend, a Victorian seaport
or Olympic National Park


Waterfalls are at their best in early spring with the snow melting and spring runoff. Bring your camera and check out these local classic waterfall hikes: Rocky Brook Falls, Falls View, and Murhut Falls Hood Canal Hiking guide from Washington Trails Association
Check the snow level first

Fall Colors Hood Canal

Fall colors Hood Canal Dosewallips RiverHere on the west side of Hood Canal, we greet fall as a time to relax and welcome the cool wet weather which makes for stunning fall colors, mountain trails with less people, more mushrooms, nighttime shell fishing and migrating wildlife.


Fall may be the best time to hike Hood Canal before the snow hits the summits  Autumn color makes for nice photography, not to mention the eastern views from the Olympic mountain vistas toward the Puget Sound waterways. The crowds are gone. To choose your Hood Canal hike, Wta.org has the most comprehensive database of hikes in Washington state. Choose the Olympic Peninsula Region and the Sub region Hood Canal. The website gives you a Hike Finder, Hiking Guides and Trip Reports. Be sure to check NOAA weather and snow levels before you go.


Fall mushrooming has begun! In the Olympic National Forest, no permit is required for incidental gathering of mushrooms for
personal use.  For a single species, the daily limit for personal use is one (1) gallon. For multiple species, the daily limit is three (3) species, (1) gallon
each. Harvested chanterelle mushrooms must have a cap diameter of one inch or greater. Here is a link to #PNW Mushroom experts, the Puget Sound Mycological Society. A great resource for Harvesting rules, Recipes and more!


While looking for mushrooms, watch for wildlife. Its the time of the season for Salmon, Migrating birds and Roosevelt Elk. For viewing and safety tips we recommend the Dept of Fish and Wildlife, Region 6  website.


It is the end of day time low tides until next spring. But if you are determined, you can try your hand at night time shellfishing.  You’ll need a headlamp and flashlights. Here is a link to Hood Canal Public Shellfish Beaches   Don’t forget your shellfish license.  You will also need a Discover pass if using a State Park Access. Check for low tides; at least 1 foot or below, but minus tides are best.

Sunrise on Hood Canal
Sunrise on Hood Canal

Or, just get your shellfish fix at our local restaurants that have Shellfish on the menu:
Olympic Timberhouse in Quilcene
101 Brewery in Quilcene
The Geoduck in Brinnon
Hama Hama Oysters in Lilliwaup

Fall Weekend Getaway

Olivers Waterfront Potlatch House

Looking for a Fall Weekend Getaway? We’ve got you covered. Starting September 15th our Hood Canal vacation rentals go to Off Peak rates and only require a 2 night stay. And, we’re only 2 hours from Seattle or 3 hours from Portland.

Kick off the “off season” with a couple great events:
Sept 16 & 17 is the Jefferson County Farm Tour Celebrate locally grown food, fiber, and farm-made products.
Farm Tour Central is the Chimacum Corner Farmstand, 9122 Rhody Drive, Chimacum WA 98325, home of our Local Farmers Market

Included in the tour is Finn River Cidery where you can celebrate the finale of Washington’s 7th Annual Cider Week. Cider tasting and pizza and bratwurst are on the menu.

As the weather gets cooler, the oysters get better.

Visit the very popular Oyster Saloon at Hama Hama Oysters, open 12 – 5:30 on weekends. Get there early for a good seat. Or, wait for the Oysterfest Oct 7 & 8th at Sanderson Field in Shelton. Oysters, wines, microbrews, live music and so much more.

The majestic Olympic Mountains

Bring your camera and Hike just about anywhere and experience fall colors, wildlife and the serene life on Hood Canal, as peaceful a getaway as you can get. Early fall is the best time to experience Hood Canal’s majestic mountain hikes. Less crowded than summer, and still accessible before the snow makes them impossible to summit. Watch for a sunny weekend and give us a call to reserve a vacation home.
Hiking Hood Canal
#weekendgetaway #getoutdoors #roadtrip #pnw #hoodcanal #hiking #fall #harvest #ciderweek #explorewashington

Spring on Hood Canal

Hood Canal in Spring, when “Nature resumes her loveliness”.  Spring flowers, Migrating Birds, Easter Baskets, Waterfall Hikes. And, the return of daytime low tides for gathering fresh clams and oysters!
Hood Canal Happy ClamShellfish
Low tides are on the first, third and fifth weekends in April this year. Buy your shellfish license, check out the Public Beaches, collect your bounty, and enjoy the famous Hood Canal oysters and clams. Experience the Hama Hama Oyster Rama, or have your own Clam-a-Rama with Our favorite Steamed Clam Recipe.

The North Olympic Peninsula Birdfest is April 7 – Bald Eagle9 in Sequim. Closer to home there are plenty of  exceptional viewpoints to experience the spring migration including the Dosewallips and Duckabush river estuaries, and Tarboo Bay.

The local herd of Roosevelt Elk, honor us with their presence year round, but in spring you often find them grazing in the grass at Dosewallips State Park, or even roaming through downtown Brinnon.

Its a treat to put together your Easter basket, Hood Canal style: Hunting for clams on the beach (who needs Easter eggs?), Wildflowers from the Olympic National Forest, or Flowers from Whitney Gardens. Whitney boasts the most magnificent display of our state flower, the Pacific Rhododendron. Best viewed in April and May.

Murhut FallsHiking
Waterfalls are at their best in early spring with the snow melting and spring runoff. Bring your camera and check out these local classic waterfall hikes: Rocky Brook Falls, Falls View, and Murhut Falls

Finish off the perfect Hood Canal April with a toast at one of our many wineries during the Olympic Peninsula Wine, Cider and Cheese Tour, April 29-30.

Now, get ready for the main course: Shrimpfest! Coming in May…