Oyster Dome

Blanchard Mountain

MARCH 22, 2008  I went looking for spring, and I found it on this hike to the Oyster Dome on Blanchard Mountain.  From early wildflowers to the joyful chorus of songbirds, these woods are bursting with spring.  I think ee cummings must have hiked this trail on the first weekend of spring when he was inspired to describe the world as mudluscious and puddle-wonderful. 

The trail climbs steeply up through a beautiful old forest from the trailhead on Chuckanut Drive, levels off for a bit, then gets back to the business of climbing steeply up.  The trail itself is very rough at timesórocky, muddy, and crisscrossed by gnarled roots.  Where the trail begins to wind around to the east, the woods are deep and dark and very cold.  There were traces of snow here, and I had to stop to add another layer of clothing even though I was hiking uphill.  I followed the Talus Trail to see the Bat Caves, but the boulders and rock slabs there were too slippery to navigate safely, and I didnít explore the area.  Once at the Oyster Dome, though, the sun broke out and the views opened up to the Olympic Mountains, the San Juan Islands, Canada, and beyond.   There were lots of people and happy dogs hiking up as I was hiking down. 

 6 miles roundtrip

2000í elevation gain