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Lake Cushman Realty, 1 (800) 770-2962

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 tide 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 behind.

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 care.

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.

Brian Sund