South Pender Island Things to Do
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Mount Norman is 234 m (767 feet) high and a nice trail runs to the top where a lookout post has been constructed. The trail is about 1 mile long and is pretty steep. Not enough to need steps but it goes up without much in the way of a break. Bring some water, you will get thirsty!
At the top is a long boardwalk across to where the lookout platform is located. The view is spectacular, looking toward the south where you can see the southern tip of North Pender Island and the San Juan islands to the south.
Partway up is a junction where a trail goes south to the beach and camping, also a trail continues eastward all the way to the water. Definately worth an hour or so of good hiking to see the view!Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
While searching for the ever-elusive "Poet's Cove" (a place that many locals suggested we check out for boat rentals), we stumbled upon Craddock Beach quite by accident. We drove down along South Pender Island, taking Canal Road to the southern end, until it zigzagged across the island and left us on a tiny little gravel road. We turned down a side street only to find a dead up, but discovered a sign saying "Beach Access". I parked the car and we got out and walked down the trail's staircase to one of the most beautifully remote beaches we saw on either of the Pender Islands.
The first thing I noticed at Craddock Beach was how despite being rocky, all the rocks were made of polished gemstones like agate and jade. The nearby cliffs were made of a peculiar conglomerate material of cobbles - the source of the beautiful rocks found on the beach.
Amid the sun-bleached driftwood and barnacle-covered shale, were random boulders of bright yellow sandstone. This sandstone had been eroded in such a way to give it a look of bubbles, which, according to one of my physical geography professors, claims that it's a unique type of erosion which is mostly found along Gulf Islands and isn't fully quite understood.
At low tide, Craddock Beach is great to explore because there are large shallow areas where tidal pools can be explored, where you can find barnacles, star fish, sea anenomes, sand crabs and hermit crabs. Watch out for the large crimson lion's mane jelly as it is poisonous and can often be found stranded on the beach.Related to:
- Family Travel
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South Pender Island Warnings and Dangers
Lion's mane jellies are apparently the largest jelly fish you'll find, but unlike others that bob around off the waters of the Gulf Islands, the Lion's mane jellies are very poisonous.