Fill Your Days with Enticing Adventures on Hood Canal and South Puget Sound

Fill Your Days with Enticing Adventures on Hood Canal and South Puget Sound

Imagine a place where you can scuba dive with wolf eels in the morning, hike to hidden waterfalls in the afternoon, dine on fresh harvested oysters with locally made beer and ice cream in the evening. Afterwards, rest your weary legs in your waterfront cabin overlooking the Olympics and Hood Canal. Yes, we said ice cream, beer—and oysters in the same sentence! Read on to learn how you can fill your days on the Olympic Peninsula with enticing adventures on Hood Canal and South Puget Sound.

Fill Your Days with Enticing Adventures on Hood Canal and South Puget Sound

The wilderness destination of Hood Canal and South Puget Sound, Mason County is less than two hours from some of the Northwest’s major metro areas. This area packs a diverse dose of outdoor recreation complemented by unique lodging and dining opportunities. It’s marked by the varied geographical features of mountains, inlets, beaches and islands, acres of forests, lakes and waterfalls. And, of course, there’s the famed fjord, Hood Canal, meandering throughout with its giant hook that draws you in.

June is a great time to visit Mason County. Wear layers as a warm sunny day can change to a sprinkle of rain with no notice. This mild climate gives energy to waterfalls seemingly dropping from the sky, the freshest seafood (think spot prawns, salmon, oysters, clams, geoduck and crab) and of course unparalleled hiking, kayaking, and cold water scuba diving adventures.

Scuba: Visit with the Wolf Eels

Fill Your Days with Enticing Adventures on Hood Canal and South Puget Sound by scuba diving with wolf eels.
Wolf Eels in their den | Photo courtesy of Thom Robbins

Get any group of divers together in the Pacific Northwest and ask them what makes for a great dive. Everyone will agree that a wolf eel was somehow involved. There is something unique about the supremely ugly faces of an adult wolf eel staring at you from its den. This can turn an ordinary dive into a great one. It’s not surprising why divers worldwide travel to places like Hood Canal to catch a glimpse of these fantastic creatures. There are plenty of great spots to plunge into the fjord along Hwy 101. How many state highways have scuba pull outs?! You can also check in at YSS Dive in Hoodsport to fill air tanks, replace a lost flipper or guide you with organized tours and charters.

Let’s Go Chasing Waterfalls

Little is more exciting than hiking a berry-lined trail in the wilderness to come upon the sound of falls. Turn the corner to a 100’ two-tier cascade landing in a clear pool designed by thousands of years of erosion—everything is right with the world. One of our year-round enticing favorites is Murhut Falls. No passes are needed and the walk to the falls is easy. Dogs and kids are also welcome on this hike.

Fill Your Days with Enticing Adventures on Hood Canal and South Puget Sound by going to Murhut Falls.
Murhut Falls

Hit the Beach for Harvesting and Hikes

It’s surprising how many beach access options are in the area from Hood Canal to Hope Island. Unique to Washington tidelines, many State Parks and DNR beaches are stocked annually and open for public harvesting of shellfish. June is a great time to check these out before the temperatures warm up. Always be aware of conditional closures and limits to harvesting. Prefer to have the harvesting done for you? Taylor Shellfish’s headquarters are located just south of Shelton. Hama Hama Oysters on Hood Canal offers classes on the farm and the Oyster Saloon serves some great food and drink. The Olympic Oyster Co. (Mike’s Beach Resort) invites guests to stay at their farm.

A great beach destination is McMicken Island on Case Inlet. During low tide, a sandbar appears, connecting the island to the mainland. Hike the island’s half-mile trail, picnic in a small meadow, and explore its rocky intertidal zone. Another favorite is Hope Island which can be reached by launching kayaks or boats at Arcadia Point. Explore campsites and trails as well as beaches on this Washington State Park island destination.

McMicken Island | Photo courtesy of Craig Romano

Pedaling the Canal

Biking Hood Canal’s trails offers a range of enticing adventures and experiences. From gentle waterside rides to demanding forest routes, cyclists choose from a variety of options. Tahuya State Forest and the area around Lake Cushman are filled with an extensive network of bike friendly trails for all ability levels. Mason County’s new addition, Vance Creek Rail Riders, is a multi-seat pedaling adventure following some of Mason County’s historic logging rails.

Come for the Views

One of the big draws in Mason County is its access to Olympic National Park, just past Lake Cushman. The picturesque entrance to Staircase traces a route along the Skokomish River following rapids and old growth forests. Nearby Mount Ellinor delivers iconic views from Cushman to Seattle. 

If you haven’t spent a few days exploring Hood Canal, now’s the time to plan. There are not a lot of hotels in the area but Hood Canal does host one of the best. Alderbrook Resort and Spa consistently wins national acclaim for their lodging and amenities as well as views, trails, dining, and waterfront activities that have guests wondering why they should even leave the property! However, there are some great cabin rentals in the area that will suit every checklist and budget. Pick your favorite as your basecamp to explore all the activities in the area.

Alderbrook Resort

For more on outdoor recreation adventures in Mason County visit or download this handy adventure guide to get inspired! Fill your days with enticing adventures on Hood Canal and South Puget Sound.

By Guest Blogger Rachel Hansen, Explore Hood Canal

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