Lake Cushman

Located at the southeast corner of Olympic National Park, the 4000-acre Lake Cushman is the quintessential northwest lake, surrounded by big rocks and thick stands of hemlock, fir and cedar trees. Formed originally from a broadening of the Skokomish River that was dammed during the last ice age, it appears like a giant claw-mark in the edge of the Olympic National Forest.

Cushman Lake hike
Photo by Ratha Grimes

Lake Cushman is a popular weekend getaway, and offers swimming, fishing, boating and kayaking on its crystal blue waters. Hikers will enjoy the numerous trails surrounding the lake, including those that lead up to Mount Rose and Mount Ellinor, and others that trace Copper Creek canyon.

The easiest way to access Lake Cushman is through Skokomish Park on the east side of the lake, which offers overnight camping as well as day use. Three boat launch ramps are located in the park, for jet skiing, fishing and water skiing on the lake. Hang out at the beach or go for a swim on a hot day, explore nature along three short trails that meander through the park, and gather around the campfire to unwind after a long day.

Another popular destination for camping and trail access at Lake Cushman is the Staircase Campground, however this facility is within the Olympic National Park borders and will require a national park pass for entry. The Staircase Loop Trail, when open, offers spectacular scenery and is a must-do when visiting the area.

Lake Cushman Access Points:

Location Map