Is the Kitsap Peninsula Part of the Olympic Peninsula?


Is it, or isn’t it?

Is the Kitsap Peninsula (KP) part of the Olympic Peninsula (OP)? Or is the KP it’s own separate thing?

I’m of the mind that the KP is a subdivision of the OP, but I’ve done some looking, and to tell you the truth, I can see why somebody would think either way.

In the end, just like most geographic distinctions, it’s arbitrary. A construct. Without any evidence to tell us one way or the other, we just decide.

Consider the case of Greenland. It is part of North America, technically. Culturally it’s more Scandinavian – and is a self-governing Danish state – which makes it more European. Yet, to spite us all, mapmakers continue to consider it part of North America. But, then again, what do mapmakers know? They’ve been telling us Europe is a separate and distinct landmass from Asia for years.

Greenland has more in common with Iceland, which is considered part of Europe. But Greenland is closer to North America, and Iceland is closer to Europe.

But at some point we have to draw a line. In the sand. A line that you do not cross.

We can look at a map and see clearly that the KP springs from the side of the OP, much like the Quimper Peninsula (QP) and the Long Beach Peninsula (LBP), just to name a few.

Is that enough to make it the same?

The KP is bigger than the other peninsulas, it’s more intricate, and its connection to the OP is a small strip of land near the OP’s base. Not much.

On the other end the KP and the OP are connected by the Hood Canal Bridge.

Is that enough to make it different?

Let’s complicate it further.

The National Weather Service actually divides Kitsap between east and west, including Bremerton/Silverdale et al with Seattle. Shelton, Seabeck, and Hoodsport are in the “Hood Canal Zone”

Jeff Michalski, a meteorologist with the service, said the weather between the two zones is different enough to give them two distinctions. So Is the KP part of the OP?

“It’s kind of split in-between the two,” he said.

What about government agencies that serve the area? What do they think?

The Washington State Patrol lumps them all in together in a subdivision called District 8, which includes the OP, the KP, and coastal Washington down to Oregon. It’s headquarters is in Bremerton.

But start looking around and you’ll find various opinions.

At this site, a hiking guide author states unequivocally they are different. We don’t know if this is the author’s attempt to distinguish the two for would-be hikers, to reduce confusion, or as a statement of fact.

The Seattle P-I’s former Kitsap blogger, Jean Boyle, wrote (I believe) the Wiki entry that I cited earlier. Here is the whole thing.

“The Kitsap Peninsula is an arm of land that is part of the larger Olympic Peninsula in Washington state (U.S.) that lies west of Seattle across Puget Sound. Hood Canal separates Kitsap Peninsula from the rest of the Olympic Peninsula. It encompasses all of Kitsap County except Bainbridge and Blake Islands, as well as the northeastern part of Mason County and the northwestern part of Pierce County.”

I have no problem with this, and knowing now that it was created by somebody with honest intentions (not trying to win a bet by meddling with Wiki) I’m in agreement.

What do you think?

7 thoughts on “Is the Kitsap Peninsula Part of the Olympic Peninsula?

  1. Kitsap is clearly a Peninsula on a Peninsula.
    IF the Olympic Peninsula is defined by a line approximately between Olympia and Hoquiam, the Kitsap Peninsula would be divided by a line between Kamilche (incorrect spelling on your map)and Hoodsport, leaving it as a Peninsula on a Peninsula

  2. As usual the ol’ bugaboo rhetoric shows its nose at any time. Kitsap is part of the Olympic Peninsula. Any other idea is rhetoric.

  3. My thoughts: The Kitsap Peninsula is a peninsula off the Olympic Peninsula and the Key Peninsula is a peninsula off the Kitsap Peninsula, and so on.

    But, Kitsap is not really the name of the Kitsap Peninsula. It is the Great Peninsula and is only commonly called Kitsap because Kitsap County covers most of the peninsula.

    Confusing? Yes, but we love it!

  4. I say we dig a channel from Allyn to the Sound. Then all those East Sounders who refer to us as an Island will be correct, and we can knock off all this silly rhetoric or semantics or whatever you want to call it.

    Yeah Kitsap!!!

  5. Growing up here, I never heard anyone absurdly say that Kitsap or the Kitsap Peninsula was not a part of the Olympic Peninsula. In the past few years I’ve known even educated people say differently.

    The confusion probably stems from those newer people that refer to Hood Canal as “the” Hood Canal, and often refer to Bainbridge Island as “the island”. I guess they don’t realize there is only one so-called canal in the area but several islands. Soon they will be taking a ferry across “the” Puget Sound.

  6. Binion here:

    The company “upgraded” the blog software, making it “better.” So much better it doesn’t work very well. This comment, for some reason, was too much for the system, so I’m adding it manually.

    Thanks for reading/writing.


    You wrote, “Is the Kitsap Peninsula (KP) part of the Olympic Peninsula
    (OP)? Or is the KP it’s own separate thing?”

    Geesh, now I wonder if KP is part of WA.

    And I wonder about Microsoft’s Bill Gates’ roots here in Bremerton.
    Where was his grandfather’s furniture store located?

    There’s monumental rock at the northeast corner of the Manette Bridge.
    What’s that all about?

    What’s Arthur Langlie got to do with Charleston? And what’s Charleston
    got to do with Bremerton?

    Commenter name: Anonymous
    Commenter email address:

  7. The Kitsap Peninsula is a moldy, gangrenous thumb taped to the right hand that is the Olympic Peninsula. You wanted provincialism Binion? Well, sir, you got it.

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