Sam Hooke

Oyster Dome

All trips at this location:

The road to Samish Overlook is very snowy and icy, starting from the moment you turn off Barrell Springs Rd onto 5 Mi Blanchard Hilltrail. Right off the bat, there is a “Road Closed” sign at right hand side, but it does not block the way forward, and evidently many others had driven past. We stopped to put on our show chains. Before reaching the Blanchard Mountain Trail Lower Parking lot, we saw a couple cars come back down which had passed us while we were chaining up.

We continued up, turning left to stay on 5 Mi Blanchard Hilltrail. Directly after this point there is a partially fallen tree leaning low over the road, but keeping to the far left provided enough clearance. Beyond this point there were some stretches with no snow or ice, but they were in the minority.

The steepest part of the drive is about 0.4 miles before Samish Lookout, roughly where the Pacific NW Trail crosses the road. Fortunately this patch was completely snow free. We arrived at the parking lot about 10am, also completely snow free, and only three other cars were there.

The hike itself was surprisingly busy. Presumably most people came from the Chuckanut Drive route. We took the short route, and enjoyed the sight of many icicles on the way up. The trail was icy and slushy almost the entire way to Oyster Dome, so we were glad to have Yaktrax and poles. We reached the top about 12:45pm, though we had taken a few stops and a minor detour towards the lakes on the way. The view was spectacular, with clear blue skies. It was also noticeably warmer in the glow of the sun, compared to the shade of the hike up.

We got back to the parking lot about 3pm. This time there were about six cars, though as we headed back found about four more that had parked just around the corner from the trailhead, presumably not wanting to risk the final short descent into the parking lot itself.