Beachcombing Hoodsport on the Edge of Olympic National Park

Hoodsport is the gateway to Olympic National Park, Lake Cushman, and a scenic point for hiking, fishing and kayaking on the north fork of the Skokomish River.
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A view looking north from the south end of Hood Canal in Washington State. The Olympic Mountain can be seen in the distance.

A view looking north from the south end of Hood Canal in Washington State. The Olympic Mountain can be seen in the distance.

On your way to Olympic National Park, spend some time in Hoodsport, a quaint town of 850 people located on the Hood Canal southeast of the national park. Not only is Hoodsport a gateway to Olympic National Park, but it is nearby beautiful Lake Cushman, a scenic point for hiking, fishing and kayaking on the north fork of the Skokomish River.

Things to Do in Hoodsport

Aside from Hoodsport’s access to land activities, the town’s convenient location on the Hood Canal opens opportunities for kayaking, boating and scuba diving.

Hoodsport’s scuba area is highly renown across the world because of its rock formations, pacific octopi, eels, rockfish and anemone. Legend has it that the largest octopus in the world lives in the waters of Hood Canal. Get scuba certified, rent scuba gear or buy equipment at Hoodsport n’ Dive located on North Highway. This is a great opportunity for any diver, beginner to advanced. 

Female wolf eel at Sund Rock near Hoodsport, Washington. Photo by Dan Hershman via Flickr

Female wolf eel at Sund Rock near Hoodsport, Washington. 

Food and Lodging in Hoodsport

Hoodsport is also well known for its small but quaint food and drink industry. The Hardware Distillery Company is given five star reviews on TripAdvisor because of its friendly staff and historical setting. If this interests you, you might also consider taking a tour and doing a free wine tasting at Hoodsport Winery. Feel good about purchasing a bottle, as this wine is locally produced and highly reviewed by traveler blogs. Other locally owned restaurants are dispersed throughout the town, such as El Puerto de Angeles Mexican restaurant, the Tides "home cooking eats" or the Burger Stand. 

Hoodsport Winery

Hoodsport Winery

On your trip to Hoodsport, stay at the Glen Ayr Resort, the Sunrise Motel or the Creekside Inn. These lodging facilities are well-kept and have positive Trippy reviews on staff and management. Because Hoodsport is so small, it is great to know that there are great places to spend the night. 

Robin Hood Village Resort

If you love Hollywood kitsch, you'll want to stay the night twelve miles down the road at the foot of the canal. The Robin Hood Village Resort was built in 1934 by Don Beckman, the movie-set designer who worked on the Robin Hood film starring Errol Flynn. The cottages do look like a scene out of the movies with their high-pitched shingle roofs, gables, and divided-pane windows. 6780 WA-106, Union, WA 98592; (360) 898-2163; robinhoodvillageresort.com

A painting on the pub's wall depicts what the Robin Hood Resort looked like in the 1940s

A painting on the pub's wall depicts what the Robin Hood Resort looked like in the 1940's

Today, many cottages at the Robin Hood Resort, like Cottage 2 pictured here, retain their original charm.

Today, many cottages at the Robin Hood Resort, like Cottage 2 pictured here, retain their original charm.

The History of Hoodsport

G.K. Robbins, a ship captain for lumber transport, settled in Hoodsport, Washington in the mid-1800s. The small community grew, as farmers and loggers appreciated the town’s close vicinity to the canal. Manganese miners officially plotted Hoodsport in 1890 in hopes to discover copper in the nearby area. Though the town remains small, the history of Hoodsport continues to live on amongst the lodgepole pines. 

Hoodsport is the Gateway to Olympic National Park Staircase Entrance

The drive from Hoodsport to Olympic National Park's Staircase Entrance takes about 30 minutes and covers 15 miles. Get on WA 119 and take North Lake Cushman Road towards North Upper Finch Creek Road for just under 15 miles. Then continue on NF-24 for a few hundred feet and follow the signs to Olympic National Park. The North Lake Cushman Road is open year-round, however it is unpaved and periodically closes due to unfavorable weather conditions such as snow. Make sure to check the status of the road before planning your trip by calling (360) 565-3131.

In the national park, the Staircase Rapids Nature Trail is a peaceful place to stroll and find solace in nature. Recognizable for its diverse range of trees, mosses and mushrooms, this two-mile trail is perfect for a scenic getaway. 

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