Hiking the Oyster Dome Near Bellingham, Washington

Oyster Dome Image: wta.org
Oyster Dome
Image: wta.org


Margaret Loughren attends Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington. Like many people who live in Bellingham, Margaret Loughren enjoys hiking the trails in and around Whatcom County.

The Oyster Dome hike is a longtime favorite of Whatcom County residents. Named for the visible oysters embedded in rocks, the trail takes hikers through beautiful woodlands, exposed rocky areas, and by small caves.

The Oyster Dome hike is a six-and-a-half-mile round trip. It rises 1,900 feet from the trailhead, reaching an elevation of 2,025 feet at its highest point.

The trail begins right off of scenic Chuckanut Drive and is immediately quite steep. Switchbacks take hikers back and forth up a strong incline through alder, red cedar, and Douglas fir trees and paste trail sculptures.

About three miles into the hike, the trail splits. Hikers can choose to continue toward the Oyster Dome itself, or turn off to go to Lily and Lizard Lakes. The view from rocky Oyster Dome is a beautiful payoff at the end of the steep hike. From there, visitors can see several of the San Juan Islands as well as the Skagit River Flats and Anacortes.