Oyster Dome Hike while Babywearing

Do you ever wake up and think, “How can I wreck my legs today?” Well, I’ve got the answer for you! Venture out on a hike up to Oyster Dome wearing 40lbs worth of baby and gear on your back. The hike is 6.58mi roundtrip, the highest point is 2,025ft and there's an elevation gain of 1,975ft! I had never done this hike before, so I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. My previous hikes wearing the baby had been fairly easy and shorter distances, so I wasn’t going to be upset if we had to turn around early. Eisley can be VERY loud and will let me (and anyone within a mile radius) know that she doesn’t want to be carried anymore. This trip was meant to be a time for relaxing and bonding between us, not anything forced or uncomfortable.

I went online to find some information on the hike before heading out to Bow, WA. A Discover Pass is required for parking. They are only $30 annually or you can purchase a $10 day pass. Heading from Bellingham, we drove South on Chuckanut Drive. This was our first time, so I was frustrated that there wasn’t a trailhead sign or anything specifying where to start or park. After driving too far, turning around twice, and calling my husband, we eventually found parking on the side on the road. I loaded Eisley in the pack, carefully crossed the highway to the trailhead, and began our ascent. As we started up the steep switchbacks to the Pacific Northwest Trail, Eisley had to get settled into her ‘backpack groove’. Initially, she wiggles around and gets loud because she wants to hike (“Down, down, down!” she tells me). I tried explaining that we were going UP and it was too dangerous for her to walk.

Thank goodness for the abundance of wild Red Huckleberry bushes along the trail! These delicious tiny berries contain high amounts of antioxidants, vitamins B and C, and minerals such as iron and potassium. Instead of a Run and Wine event, we did a Hike and Forage trip. We had to stop frequently so I could pick a handful of berries and hold them over my shoulder for Eisley to enjoy. Every now and then she’d say, “More! More!” and she even picked berries off the bushes by herself!

Eventually, we reached a point where the trail splits in two. If you went to the right, you’d end up at Lily and Lizard Lakes. We stayed to the left towards Oyster Dome, which was only one-quarter mile away. The last leg of the hike was the most difficult. There were signposts along the way depicting a person falling off an edge under the word “Cliffs”. That’s comforting, right? We crossed a little creek and were unsure of where the trail was. There were only a few options, but when all else fails, go up!
I could hear people talking, a dog barking, and wa-laa! We were out of the woods and standing on the majestic Oyster Dome!

It was even better than what I imagined. Samish Bay was below us and we could see both Lummi and Orcas Islands. There were ships and sailboats along with a couple of hawks that were flying down beneath us, we were THAT high. Eisley and I had a mini picnic of sliced apples, sweet potato chips, rice cakes, and Cliff bars. We brought bubbles to blow while up there and it was pretty magical. I got her back in the pack and started the journey back down. We met some nice people along the way and shared conversations before picking up the pace. It was going to be close to Eisley’s bedtime once we made it down and drove back home. According to my TomTom watch, our time hiking down was literally half of what it was going up. Our trip was a little over 3 hours including all of our stops.

Map from my TomTom watch

If you’re ever in the area, make a trip out to Oyster Dome! The view and experience is definitely worth it!


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