HIKING WITH BRIAN
|I hope you have enjoyed all or some of the hikes Iíve
recommended over the years. Our area is so rich with many places to hike
around Lake Cushman and up and down the Hood Canal.
This year we will venture out of Lake Cushman and head north on Hwy. 101 to
the Duckabush River Road. My featured hike is Murhut Falls. This excursion
can be half a day or a full day of activities.
There may be many of you that havenít toured north of Hoodsport. This is a
beautiful ride up the Canal. The ride that awaits you is very scenic. The
road is somewhat winding but parallels the Canal as you pass Lilliwaup and
Hamma Hamma and work your way towards Brinnon. Watch for the many species of
birds that live on the Canal. Enjoy the seals frolicking in the water and
depending on the time of year, you may catch a seal feasting on its salmon
prey. If the
is low, you may get a peak of the elk in the Hamma Hamma area. Watch for
peak-a-boo views of the mountains on the left. As you take a left onto the
Duckabush from Hwy. 101, you will travel parallel with the Duckabush River.
When the pavement ends, you will see an old homestead and hike to Ranger
Hole, which leads you to the crystal blue waters of the Duckabush. The
ranger cabin can also be rented. Jumping off the cliff into the cold water
is mighty invigorating. This is an easy one-mile hike so all of you can make
it and a really cool spot. Donít miss it!! In your car, continue onto the
gravel road; watch for signs to Murhut Falls. There is a left turn involved.
If you went to the Duckabush trailhead, you missed the turn. I believe itís
two or three miles on the gravel road but the signs will say. As you reach
the trailhead, pay special attention to a pullout on the left and the sign
that you are at the Murhut Falls trailhead will be on your right. This is an
easy one-mile walk to the falls. The trail is well defined through second
growth forest into the old growth trees that surround the falls. Enjoy the
many ferns, mosses, variety of plants and stands of fir and cedar trees that
you will encounter. You may also see wild animals. The falls, I would guess,
are 100 feet high and can be raging, considering the time of year. This area
could be a great swimming hole on a hot day for the water is refreshing.
There are also smaller falls and pools that you will come across. You may
want to bring your bug spray because you will be hiking in the timbered
areas. There is really nowhere to sit but upon rocks and dirt. If you wander
down to the pools, the trail down is slippery so always have a hand on a
sturdy tree branch or root. This is the only steep part and the dirt, rocks
and plants are wet from the spray of the falls. Stay as long as youíd like,
bringing water and a snack or lunch. Murhut Falls and its trail are mainly
in the shade so dress appropriately. The current can be very swift so
prepare for that and be careful with small children. Admiring the old growth
cedar, hemlock and fir trees by the falls is breathtaking. The different
mosses on the rocks and trees are colorful and in some cases seem
fluorescent when the beams of sunlight stream through the trees. Be careful
as you walk in this area not to step on the moss, as this will keep the moss
healthy. Enjoy this beautiful hidden gem and please donít leave anything
If you need restroom facilities, hikerís etiquette is to dig a hole well off
of the trail and after use, cover it back up. Donít leave toilet paper on
the ground; bury it deep or pack it out. I mention this because after I
featured Snow Lake last year we found that folks had gone to Snow Lake and
left evidence that they didnít know the proper way to created their own
restroom facilities. PLEASE be a steward and treat the surroundings with
As you travel back to Lake Cushman, you may want to stop at the Hamma Hamma
Fish Market for fresh clams, oysters, crab and fish for the barbecue that
awaits your return.
Enjoy your day and happy trails.