Now that boating season is coming to an end, we should find other outdoor activities to keep us healthy, safe, and sane in these crazy pandemic times. Our son and daughter-in-law, Braden and Lisa, who live in the Portland area, were up visiting over Labor Day Weekend. Braden asked if we’d ever been on the hike to Tamanowas Rock Sanctuary, in Chimacum. I had never even heard of it. After a quick Google search, we knew we had to explore.
The Sanctuary has a lot of history to the S’Klallam people and is considered a sacred place. Even to this day the S’Klallam people make offerings and prayers of thanks when they visit. Tamanowas means “spirit power” in their native language and in ancient times they went there to discover their guardian spirit. Some claimed to find their “spirit animal.” (I told Braden and Lisa that I already knew that if I had a spirit animal it would be an Orca.) Tamanowas Rock was also used as a mastodon hunting lookout and considered a place of refuge during floods and tsunamis.
We found the very small parking lot off Anderson Lake Road, parked, and began our ascent. The trails took us through fir trees, alder, big leaf maple, madrona and cedar. The autumn colors were just barely beginning to reveal their glory. We were so enthralled with the beauty, we missed the trail to the Rock and found ourselves high above Chimicum Valley with breathtaking views of the valley and sea. I’m glad we missed the turn, because this was not to be missed either. On our descent we found the correct trail and after a short walk through a pathway of lush ferns, Tamanowas Rock rose up from the forest like a magnificent natural cathedral. It is an immense monolith with caves, crevices and cliffs, formed 43 million years ago. In the quiet, almost eerie, but majestic surroundings Braden, Lisa and I could feel the “spirit power” of nature itself.
I’d highly recommend this short hike. The fall colors should be even more spectacular now. Take in the beauty of Tamanowas Rock Sancuary and find your spirit power. The hike became even more special to come home to a pod of Orcas swimming by our home off the bluff of Marrowstone Island (confirming my spirit animal?).