Lake Cushman, Olympic National Park

4.6
#7 of 10 in Nature in Olympic National Park
Lake Cushman is a 4010acre lake and reservoir on the north fork of the Skokomish River in Mason County, Washington. The lake originally was a long narrow broadening of the Skokomish River formed in a glacial trough and dammed by a terminal moraine from the last ice age, during the Vashon stade.The lake was expanded after construction of the Cushman Dam No. 1. The lake is maintained by this dam and provides electrical power to the Tacoma Power system.As a popular retreat for hiking, fishing, boating and kayaking, Lake Cushman's shoreline is dotted with resorts and rental cabins. The lake is notable for its beautiful crystal clear blue water and the huge round rocks surrounding it, as well as thick stands of hemlock, fir and cedar trees.Lake Cushman was named in honor of Orrington Cushman, who served as interpreter for Governor Isaac Stevens during the Treaty of Point Elliott negotiations with Puget Sound Indians in 1854.There is also a town near Lake Cushman known as Lake Cushman, Washington, or simply Cushman, Washington. Still unincorporated, it is the fastest-growing community in Mason County.
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  • The Lake was created by damming the river for hydroelectricity. The power house along 101 is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The lake is surrounded by Olympia National Forest, Olym...  more »
  • From Lake Cushman, we accessed the staircase for a beautiful trek through out of this world nature! The paths are well maintained but not overly easy either. And its not too busy. Actually on a Novemb...  more »
  • Made a quick stop here on our way further on the peninsula. Beautiful lake down in a valley surrounded by the mountains. Fall colors were amazing.  more »

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Where to stay in Olympic National Park

Many visitors to Olympic National Park choose to pitch a tent at one of 16 campgrounds, many of which stay open throughout the year. The park also offers a mix of lodge rooms, motel rooms, and cabins thanks to two lodges and two resorts. On the Pacific Coast, the Kalaloch Lodge stands as the most isolated of these. If you prefer to rest your head outside the park, consider staying in Port Townsend. This artsy waterside community northeast of the park offers plenty of inns and bed and breakfasts, but they fill up quickly in summer, so reserve ahead if possible. Port Angeles sits a bit closer to the park and offers more functional accommodations in the form of motels and hotels, though you'll also find waterfront inns and cottages in the area. Communities on the park's western side offer a rustic vibe, but they also take more time to get to if you're coming from Seattle.
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