Puget Sound, in a general sense, the body of water which extends S. from the E. end of the strait of Fuca, through which it communicates with the Pacific ocean, into the N. W. portion of Washington terrritory, for a distance in a direct line of about 80 m. Its principal constituents are Admiralty inlet, Puget sound proper, the S. termination of this inlet, and Hood's canal. Admiralty inlet extends from the strait of Fuca a little E. of S., with an average breadth of nearly 6 m., for 70 m., and communicates with the sound proper through the "narrows," 1 m. wide and 4 m. long. The sound extends S. W. from the narrows, ramifying into numerous bays and inlets, and containing many islets. Hood's canal branches off from Admiralty inlet 18 m. S. of the strait of Fuca, and extends S. W., with an average breadth of 2 m., for 50 m., when it bends abruptly and extends N. E. for 15 m., nearly connecting with the waters of the sound. Hood's canal on the one hand and Admiralty inlet and the sound on the other enclose a peninsula, of which Kitsap co. forms the greater part.
As determined by the United States coast survey, the coast line of Admiralty inlet measures 334 nautical miles; of Puget sound proper, 280; of Hood's canal, 192; total, 806. These bodies of water are all navigable, and the smaller inlets afford numerous safe, deep, and capacious harbors. The shores are fertile, and are covered with abundant timber. The chief towns are Olympia, the capital of the territory, at the S. extremity; Steilacoom, Tacoma (the N. terminus of the Pacific division of the Northern Pacific railroad), and Seattle, on the E. shore; and Port Townsend, at the N. W. extremity. The sound was named after an officer in Vancouver's expedition.