Enjoy breathtaking views of the Olympics from a secluded cove with many different types of seabirds and wildlife. Try to keep your feet dry while exploring a series of trails amid the historic 184-acre Guillemot Cove Nature Reserve.
Begin by hiking downhill on the Main Access Trail, located opposite of the parking lot. Ignore trails branching left and meet up with the Sawmill Trail. Continue right as the trail descends through a canopy of cedar, hemlock and fir--eventually becoming the Margaret Trail. Round a switchback and arrive at the bottom of the hill. Turn left, passing the rundown Nest House and emerge at a kiosk.
After periods of heavy rain, the meadow across from the kiosk can flood, making access to the beach difficult. There are plans to build a boardwalk through this wet area, but until then, if conditions (or waterproof boots) allow, cross the bridge over Boyce Creek and follow the rerouted Beach House Trail past the old house to the saltwater cove. Watch for seabirds, including the black and white pigeon guillemot for which the cove was named.
If a soggy meadow stops progress towards the beach, try hiking the Stump House Trail to its namesake: a large hollowed out cedar stump house with roof. The Stump House Trail isn’t obstacle-free; ensure careful footing on the slanted boardwalk that spans the creek as well as on slippery mud throughout the meadow.
For a possibly drier alternative, the Maple Tree Trail begins just past the fallen-down remains of an old barn a short distance from the kiosk. This level trail connects with the River Trail Loop and meanders beneath giant, moss-covered big leaf maples, some of which are more than 200 years old!
On the hike back to the parking lot, consider following the access road. The first obvious trail leading left reconnects with the Sawmill and Main Access Trail junction.
- 2.5 miles, roundtrip
- Elevation Gain
- 360 feet
- Highest Point
- 360 feet
Hiking Guillemot Cove
Map & Directions
Co-ordinates: 47.6160, -122.9085 Open in Google Maps