White Rock, a large erratic at Hood Head, Hood Canal

Google Earth View. The yellow line is 54 feet long.

White Rock is a really large erratic lying in the water of Hood Canal, barely reachable at a low tide. It  shows up very clearly on Google Earth. Dan McShane has visited and sent the photos and some of the description used on this page. He describes it a little bit on his Reading the Washington Landscape website, here. Dan tells me that White Rock appears to be meta-sandstone that is highly recrystallized. Very hard, and hard to sample. The whiteness is from birds using it as a perch.

I have wondered just how big this monster is, since it shows up so clearly on air photos. Dan got some measurements. He says the thing is 24 feet high, 32 feet long and 30 feet wide. However, his measurements had to be “a bit rough as I was unwilling to swim around the back side of the rock. The front side required wading up to my waist despite a fairly low tide exposing starfish on the lower portions of the rock.”

White Rock from the shore. Click to enlarge. Note perched gull for scale.

However, using the measuring tool in Google Earth, it looks considerably larger. The maximum width appears to be west to east, perpendicular to the shore. I obtained 54 feet for that measurement, and 41 feet in the north- south plane. I can’t measure height in GE. This is still smaller than the reigning “Mother of All Erratics” in the Salish Lowlands, Waterman Rock on Whidbey Island.

I tested the GE measuring tool- it said that my house [plainly visible] is 21.5 feet wide, which agrees almost unbelievably well with the actual tape measurement: 21’9″. I further tested GE measurements: places near my house that measured 13.3′ and 50.26′ on GE measured 13’2″ and 50.0′ with my size-mometer (a.k.a. tape measure).

Getting there: You’ll find it at 47°53.593N 122°38.579W. White Rock is on the west shore of Hood Canal, just north of Hood Head. Hood Head is located just north of the Hood Canal Floating Bridge.

From Hood Canal Bridge: at the west end of the bridge, turn right on Paradise Bay Road. In 1/2 mile, turn right on Seven Sisters Road, which ends in 1/2 mile. Here find a short path to the beach, and pick your way in the right direction.

From US 101: Take US 101 south from the junction with WA 20 south at the head of Discovery Bay. In 2 miles, turn east on WA 104; just before you reach Hood Canal Bridge, turn left (north) on Paradise Valley Road and proceed as above.

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