This route begins with a steep climb of moderate length, rewarded by more mellow grades in dense forest and sweeping views of Samish Bay. Expect large crowds on the descent from Oyster Dome on the weekends. Much of the run takes place on the famed Pacific Northwest Trail.
If you're planning on running this route counter-clockwise, be prepared for a technical (rocky and root-covered) descent from Oyster Dome, on an otherwise pleasant route.
Park right near milepost 10 on the paved pullouts. Cross the road and enter the Pacific Northwest Trail (also known as the Chuckanut Trail
), which climbs several large switchbacks. Follow signs for the Samish Overlook. Once you've had a chance to enjoy the views, transition to the Larry Reed Trail
to continue your journey.
At the overlook, cross the parking lot and re-enter the trail to the left of the large bike racks.
At 2.8 miles, take the trail marked Max's Shortcut Trail
. You'll reach Lily Lake, and turn left to continue, following sign for Oyster Dome. This short trail segment is appropriately known as the Oyster Lily Trail
Continue on your way until you reach an intersection with the Samish Bay Trail
and the Oyster Dome Spur. Ascend the Oyster Dome Spur to Oyster Dome, which affords sweeping views of Samish Bay. Look out for paragliders launching!
After descending from the Dome, enjoy a technical descent down on the Samish Bay Trail
to the intersection with the Pacific Northwest Trail and repeat a small section of switchbacks to return to the road.