Lake Cushman in the Winter

This isn’t a natural lake but was created back in 1926 when the Cushman Dam No. 1 was built by Tacoma Power. It’s an impressive dam 275’ high and over 1100’ long.

Having spent such a considerable amount of time looking for little visited areas in the backcountry or along remote shorelines, it easy to turn a bit snobbish when someone recommends a popular tourist destination. Especially, if it wins a local ‘best camping’ award. However, Lake Cushman does an excellent job of reinforcing the adage of ‘not judging a book by it’s cover’.

Hood Canal

The evening temperatures have been cold, at least by Puget Sound standards, dipping into the low to mid 20’s at night. With that in mind, we choose to camp along Hood Canal rather than at elevation. I’m still learning the limitations of our pop-up trailer.

The closest site was Potlatch State Park. It’s a nice little park with water access to the canal but that comes with a cost. Highway 101 runs right through the middle of the park, and as this arterial connects Port Angeles to Olympia it has traffic round the clock. But the sites are moderately private and the view of the Canal is stunning. Not a bad choice in the offseason.

Lake Cushman
An axle we found below the high water mark on Lake Cushman. Photo credit: Steve Weileman

Lake Cushman

Shortly after sunrise, we headed up to the lake. This isn’t a natural lake but was created back in 1926 when the Cushman Dam No. 1 was built by Tacoma Power. It’s an impressive dam 275’ high and over 1100’ long. Tours are available to groups but there didn’t appear to be a soul around when we checked the area out. I imagine everything is remotely monitored these days with a quick ready response team nearby.

Lake Cushman

Shortly after sunrise, we headed up to the lake. This isn’t a natural lake but was created back in 1926 when the Cushman Dam No. 1 was built by Tacoma Power. It’s an impressive dam 275’ high and over 1100’ long. Tours are available to groups but there didn’t appear to be a soul around when we checked the area out. I imagine everything is remotely monitored these days with a quick ready response team nearby.

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