The town of Hoodsport is the largest along the west side of Hood Canal and can provide most of your travel needs. This is the place to get Forest Service and Park Service information and to stock up on food before heading north. Hoodsport’s lodgings cater to scuba divers, particularly small groups who come to explore the amazingly diverse creatures in the deep, clear waters just offshore.
The lack of strong currents and minor tidal fluctuations help make this a good place for beginning divers. Visibility is best in the winter—to 50 feet—when fewer plankton are in the water. Rent dive gear, get air refills, and take classes from Hood Sport ’N Dive (24080 N. Hwy. 101, a mile north of Hoodsport, 360/877-6818, www.hoodsportndive.com) or Mike’s Dive Center (38470 N. Hwy. 101, Lilliwaup, 360/877-5324, www.mikesbeachresort.com). Both places also rent dive kayaks and sea kayaks.
Other people come to water ski, sail, windsurf, or to catch shrimp, fish, and crabs. The Hood Canal Hatchery is right in town.
The main summer event is Celebrate Hoodsport Days, with a street fair, food, kids’ parade, and fireworks on the first full weekend of July.
August brings the annual Hood Canal Salmon Derby (360/790-6589, www.sschapterpsa.com/Derby_Page.htm), where $25 and some angling luck can win a $1,000 prize. Kids’ events and a barbecue are all part of the fun.
Five miles north from Hoodsport is the village of Lilliwaup, with a general store and motel, an RV park, and a pair of restaurants. The little burg of Potlatch is two miles south of Hoodsport on Highway 101.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition