Head on over to the Kitsap Peninsula and book a room with a view of the salmon jumping, returning to spawn. Both the Oxford Suites and the Silverdale Beach Hotel In Silverdale have magnificent views of Dyes Inlet and on a clear day, Mount Rainier. Another hotel with beautiful views of Sinclair Inlet is Comfort Inn On the Bay in Port Orchard.
The annual fall return of salmon to Kitsap Peninsula’s streams is an exciting and educational adventure. The whole family will enjoy the thrill of watching salmon swim upstream, building redds and spawning.
To observe salmon spawning in the wild is to watch the wondrous beginnings of life and the final stages of nature’s cycle. The best time to view spawning salmon is a few days after a big rain. Below are maps and information about viewing the salmon runs on the Kitsap Peninsula.
There are over 30 viewpoints around the Kitsap Peninsula where you can watch salmon. Below are links to maps of locations around the Kitsap Peninsula that offer places where you can view this remarkable annual event up close. Click here to view or print a larger version. Visit the Kitsap Sun’s website to view their Interactive Map of Kitsap Peninsula Salmon Watching stops.
WSU Extension Kitsap organizes and trains salmon docents for the annual Kitsap Salmon Tours. On Saturday, November 3rd, watch this awesome scene with experts on hand to answer your questions, such as: How do salmon find their natal creek after a three-year round trip to Alaska? Can you name the four species of salmon? What is a jack?
At each of the eight sites scattered around the Kitsap Peninsula, different activities, informational booths and demonstrations are led by experts. You can see a salmon dissection, learn about the importance of salmon to native Americans; or observe fly tying demonstrations. But wait! There’s more!
Activities for kids at each site are diverse. Some include storytime with Kitsap Regional children’s librarians reading tales about salmon, one has the wicked hard salmon hazard game, another has an interactive salmon adventure and two have live stream bugs, a favorite food of salmon.
At the Rhododendron Preserve, the Keta Legacy Foundation will conduct the 1.5 mile round trip guided tour down the Big Tree (a huge Douglas Fir over 30 feet in circumference) Trail to the creek. Because the terrain is a steep, dirt-packed trail, the last tour is at 1:00p. Refreshments are served at the historic World War I era Kitsap Cabin.
Although the Rhododendron Preserve is not wheelchair accessible, most other sites are. All these sites and more are open for a self-guided tour during the fall salmon runs but checkout the related websites for restrictions. Watching the salmon return is one of life’s most awesome experiences.
After a few hours of fresh air and hiking, grab a late lunch at the Big Apple Diner in Bremerton with its delicious food and classic 50s décor, or order a fantastic sandwich to go at the Brownsville Marina Deli or cozy up to a stein at Rainy Daze Brewing in Poulsbo.
Another great place for anytime viewing is the bridge over Chico Creek on Erlands Point Road. It’s right next door to the 19th Hole Bar & Grill, at 2171 Erlands Point Road in Bremerton. Grab a burger or pizza and enjoy one of the brews from 21 tap handles while you’re there.
In Port Orchard, the perfect place to watch the salmon run is at Etta Turner Park overlooking Blackjack Creek, one of Kitsap Peninsula’s longest creeks. Blackjack Creek is near another local watering hole, Slaughter County Brewing Company at the corner of Blackjack Creek and Bay Street. Check out other dining options at www.http://VisittKitsap.com/dining
During the fall salmon run, you can also watch the entire end of life process at Grovers Creek Salmon Hatchery, at 23175 Indianola Rd NE in Indianola. The family friendly staff process the returning Chinook, Coho and Chum salmon in numbers ranging from 400-1200 fish per day. Staff and volunteers net the salmon, measure and identify, gather the eggs and sperm, and fertilize the eggs.
Enjoy an Easy, Spontaneous Getaway
Travel to VisitKitsap.com to learn about our great selection of lodging options for your spur-of-the-moment fall getaways. A mid-week or weekend getaway will give you plenty of time to take in some exciting salmon experiences or just unwind with a stroll along our beaches and trails. Nearly every town on the Kitsap Peninsula is located on the water with warm and welcoming hotels nearby, beautiful scenery, shops and eateries for all tastes and budgets.
The Kitsap Peninsula is just a short 30-60 minute ferry ride from the Seattle area or from Tacoma by bridge; the perfect place for a quick break from a hectic urban scene and all that traffic. Click here for a WA State ferry schedule.