Beautiful, rugged state park with many amenities, close to Seattle
I can't think of any. Can YOU think of any?
State's most popular park for a reason!
Officially speaking, highway 20 is an east-west road. Even numbers are supposed to be east-west highways. However, in this part of Washington, highway 20 leaves Anacortes and heads south to Widbey Island. Crossing from Fidalgo Island to Widbey Island at Deception Pass, the highway must use two spectacular bridges in order to cross from Fidalgo...more
Despite the large number of sheer drops from the tops of the rocks to the water level, there are also a number of popular beaches in Deception Pass State Park. Facilities depend a great deal on which beach you are visiting. Some of the beaches are remote from facilities, while others have full restrooms and parking lots. Some are much harder to get...more
The other two major beaches in Deception Pass State Park are North Beach and West Beach. While both of those have reasonably good picnic facilities, neither of them have the open grass area that Rosario Beach has.The Rosario Beach area is also unique in that it is located on a small peninsula connected to the mainland by a small neck of land. The...more
In contrast to the neary North Beach, the West Beach area is directly next to a parking lot, and there are a lot of facilities here in terms of picnic tables and several flush toilet facilities. The beach looks directly west towards Vancouver Island and Victoria, though it is some 20 miles (33 km) across the water to Victoria.West Beach is not...more
Of the beaches in Deception Pass State Park, north beach is the coldest as it is sheltered from the sun somewhat by the forest on the south side. It also has the least traditional ocean-type view, as it does not face open water.On the other hand, North Beach faces Deception Pass itself, and therefore provides the best view in the park of the...more
I don't know that much about kayaking, but what I can tell you is that the two narrow passageways formed between Fidalgo Island, Widbey Island and Pass Island have some fairly quick currents in them as the tide changes.The very heart of Deception Pass therefore seems to be fairly popular with those who are kayakers.I can't say for certain how much...more
When entering the southern portion of the park, the Cranberry Lake Day Use Area is the first area of the park that you will come to. There is a significant amount of space dedicated to picnic spaces, and there are several covered picnic areas.At Cranberry Lake itself, which is slightly down the hill from the parking lot, you will find a pier that...more
Deception Pass is a channel of water separating Widbey Island and Fidalgo Island, and passing between sheer rock cliffs. Deception Island is in the approximate center of the narrowest point of this passage, and was therefore a convenient point to act as the centerpiece for constructing the bridges of highway 20 between the two islands.Pass Island...more
Deception Pass State Park has 38 miles (61 km) of hiking trails to explore including beaches and scenic viewpoints. There are three lakes which are contained within the park boundaries and wildlife can be seen throughout the park mostly waterfowl and sea birds. Some small mammals can be seen and in the waterways many sea mammals as well but the...more
The Deception Pass Bridge is one of those very frequently photographed sites in Washington. The bridge made its humble beginnings in 1935. It was built for a cost of $482,000. The bridge became increasingly popular for its scenic setting and in 1982 it became a national historical monument.The bridge itself has a span of (combined) 1,487 ft (453 m)...more
Of course, the views from the bridge are really spectacular if you're here on a clear day. You can park on the side of the road at either end of the bridge and walk out to the middle of it - both sides have pedestrian sidewalks, and in the middle there's an underpass. So there's no need to risk your life running across the road!The pass itself is...more
If you walk left from the parking lot instead of right (to the point), you'll find a trail going along the cliffs and through the trees over to Bowman Bay, another part of the park. It's short - maybe a mile or less? - and easy, with some scenic peekaboo views of the water and beautiful red madrona trees (for those of you unfamiliar with these...more
La Conner is a touristy but picturesque town just a few miles from the park. It has quite a few restaurants for a town of its very small size. We typically stop for lunch on our way to the park and hit the La Conner Brewing Company on the way home for a beer and dinner. They offer pizzas, quesadillas, burgers - pub food, in short. The atmosphere is very nice, with lots of wood, board games for those so inclined, and vases of flowers.
(Please note that this tip is undergoing research, and what is listed here is only what I have found out so far. As I learn more, more will be added to this tip.)
Many state parks are only accessible by private automobile, or in the case of a number of parks in Washington, by private boat as well.
However, Deception Pass State Park is also semi-accessible by public transit from either the south or north, from two different transit agencies.
The southern part of the park is located on Widbey Island, and located in Island County. This area is served by Island County Transit ( http://www.islandtransit.org ), and the current route structure serves the area with one stop near the intersection of Highway 20 and the most southern park entrance, which serves Cranberry Lake Campground and Day Use Area. It is a little bit of a walk from the bus stop to the areas inside the park, but at least the service is available.
To get to this part of Deception Pass State Park using Island Transit from Seattle, you would first have to get to Mukilteo using SoundTransit or one of the other long distance transit services operating out of Seattle. From Mukilteo you take the ferry to Widbey Island, and then use Island Transit to work you way north along the entire island, eventually getting to the Oak Harbor Transit station, where the bus route going north to the residential areas around Deception Pass State Park is located.
The northern part of the park is located on Fidalgo Island, and is located in Skagit County. This area is served by Skagit County Transit ( http://www.skagittransit.org, which offers one bus route that passes through the park on highway 20 on its way between Mount Vernon and Oak Harbor. This route is called the "Island Connector" and as it operates outside the Skagit Transit operating district to serve as a connector, it doesn't run that often. The current route number is 411W, but it is not listed as such right now on the Skagit Transit web site list of routes on the home page. However, I will also say that on my most recent visit to Deception Pass State Park, I did not notice any bus stop signs on the section of highway 20 through the state park, so unfortunately it may not be very easy to get into the park from locations where the bus actually stops.
in order to get to Deception Pass State Park from Seattle using Skagit Transit, it is first necessary to get to the Mount Vernon Transit Station. This can be done using Amtrak train, Greyhound long distance bus, or SoundTransit express bus or commuter train to Everett, and then Skagit Transit Everett connector to Mount Vernon. You would then need to take the "Island Connector Route" to Widbey Island (NOT Camano Island), which right now has been given the route number 411W. This route goes north out of Mount Vernon and follows highway 20 most of the way to Oak Harbor on Widbey Island.
So, the good news is that there is transit service available very close to the park, but the bad news is that the routes are not set up for park visitors to use, as far as my research has led me. I will be investigating further on future visits, and make additional changes to this tip based on what I find.
NOTE: I have used the spelling Kw?kwál?lw?t as that is the closest I can come to the spelling on a r Romanized keyboard. I photographed the name on the sign and thus you can see the original name in photo 4. The legend has been drastically cut short in this tip, and to find the whole story I suggest further research, or come visit Deception Pass...more
Fishing line represents a hazard to wildlife because it can cause entanglement problems as well as severe problems with animals that catch fish that still has fishing line and a hook inside it.Fishing line also represents a hazard to boaters (entanglement in propellers), swimmers (general entanglement problems) and people in general.Therefore, if...more
The area was first settled by the Samish and Swinomish Indian tribes. It wasn’t until the 1700’s that George Vancouver became the first European to discover the passage. He and his crew falsely thought that they were traversing the inner passage of a large peninsula until they discovered the passage and the realization that it was in fact an...more
Be very careful when walking near any cliffs especially those near the passage. The currents below can be very strong. One site I looked at suggested that the flow can be as fast as 10 knots and create whirlpools as much as 12 feet (3.6 m) wide. These figures are very frightening when thinking about being swept away by the extremely fast swells.
What seems like a frightening current to me has been seen as a challenge and popular locatoin for kayaking. The link below is an account of the kayaking during slack tides to get a more personal experience with the pass.
Favorite thing: You should take a walk under the bridge, alond the river... the trails are in good condition, there are some steps for you to get closer to the bridge, as well as a lookout for sightseeing. There should be parking before the bridge (going from south to north), but if passed the bridge, there are some handicap parking spots, which will allow you for some quick picture taking, but don't venture off too far, you don't want your car towed in this area!