Deception Pass Bridge

Deception Pass Bridge

South of Anacortes and La Conner, you’ll come to Whidbey Island in the Puget Sound (pew-jet) area.   If you love the out of door like most folks here in Washington, then the North end of the Island where Deception Pass State Park is located is where you want to find yourself.

What is Deception Pass?  It is a 4,134 acre state park.  Thousands of feet of salt water shoreline and some 33,000 feet of fresh water shoreline is what will greet you as you enter the park.

Rugged cliffs dot the shoreline where they drop off into the highly turbulent waters that make up Deception Pass.

The bridge on a foggy morning

The bridge on a foggy morning

Here, as I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, you will still find some the famous “old growth” that made Washington a logging capital to the U.S. lumber markets along with  Massive forests, tremendous amounts of wildlife, dunes of sand, lakes, fantastic shoreline views and don’t forget the beautiful Pacific Northwest Sunsets.

NAVY Noise

While enjoying the park, from time to time you may also enjoy the “show” the local Naval Air Station puts on from time to time.  Some times it goes for a couple of hours.  These are the training missions for the fliers that can occur during the day or even into the nighttime hours.

What To Do

Stocking Cranberry Lake with trout

Stocking Cranberry Lake with trout

It’s not really a matter of trying to figure out what to do, but more like which will I choose to do?!   You’ll have so many choices that it would be almost impossible to enjoy all of the activities.

There’s picnic time, crabbing, snorkel or scuba diving, boating (be sure and bring your boat), freshwater and saltwater fishing, kayaking, beach walking and finding trophies along the way, mountain biking, hiking, challenging someone to horseshoes, sailboarding, circle fires, along with two amphitheaters.

Don’t forget the horse trails, hiking trails, and biking trails.

So…which will you choose?

Deception Pass beckons you to visit.

Deception Pass beckons you to visit.

Playground For The Kids

Bring the kids.  The playground can round out your full day of other activities by letting the kids burn off all that “extra energy” while you relax.

Bridge Connects The Islands

Crossing between Fidalgo and Whidbey Islands could only be done by boat, up until August 1934 when construction on the bridge finally began.

Wallace Bridge and Structural Company was used to build the two spans that would eventually connect the islands.  Labor was done by locals that were out of work along with those of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).

Before the bridge though, was a small ferry system run by five foot tall Berte Olson, the first woman to be a ferry captain in the state of Washington.

Since the ferry system she used was a bit unstable to say the least, often times not running because of the choppy water and windy conditions, it was frustrating to those who needed to cross.

Being her source of income, she fought tooth and nail to have the bridge building stopped.

She lost her battle, but her story is very interesting.

The Park

Once you have discovered the bridge, then you’ll want to continue your enjoyment of the park by visiting  Cranberry Lake, the West Beach, Rosario Beach along with the Tide Pools, Pass Lake, North Beach, Hoypus Forest, Cornet Bay, Bowman Bay and Kukutali Preserve on Kiket Island.

Welcome to Deception Pass

Welcome to Deception Pass

So you see, there is an entire plethora of activities here in the Pass.

Plan your visit and come see what you are missing.  Leave your comments below.
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Written by:  Tom McDaniel

Images by:60before60,visitskagitvalley,evertrail,goskagit,delzane


National Parks Plate

Planning a little outing?  Then the Washington State Parks Reservations listing and contact information is what you’ll be needing.

You’ll be able to choose the type of reservation you desire, whether it be a campsite, cabin, rustic shelters and yurts (round huts similar to Asian nomads), near the water or marina, equestrian, individual or groups, a single day or longer or even a vacation house.

Many choices with a huge variety of beautiful sites and parks to choose from.  Choosing the time, date and length of stay are at your fingertips or better yet, just a phone call away.  1-888-226-7688

On the other hand, many times we just want to have an outing for the day.

Woodland Park Zoo,

Point Defiance,

Green Lake,

or even the    Seattle Space Needle, the Seattle Science Center, the mountain village (like Switzerland) of Leavenworth.

Perhaps all we want to do is go for a walk.

Early Bird Gets The Best Places

Living with a schedule is just a way of life in the U.S.  That would also include schedules for any type of vacation get-aways.  So what is needed is good planning.  Since there are many parks to choose from, be sure and reserve your place early in the year.

In some areas, reservations are set some 2 years in advance.  Not here in Washington though.  Just be sure to call before driving to an area only to be turned away because of it being filled.

Some Year-Round Reservation Sites Throughout The State

Cape disappointment, Dash Point, Kitsap Memorial, Deception Pass, Ocean City, Pacific Beach, Dosewallips, Bay View, Grayland Beach, Pacific Beach and Rasar, Ike Kinswa


San Juan Island Beach

San Juan Island Beach

Covered Sites, Yurts, Vacation Houses, Cabins, Campsites

Battle Ground Lake, Bay View, Paradise Point, Seaquest, Wallace Falls, Dosewallips, Grayland Beach, Mount Rainier National Park, Cape Disappointment, Ike Kinswa, Kitsap Memorial, Kanaskat Palmer

Just A Few Of The Most Popular Places

Battle Ground Lake  888.226.7688

Birch Bay   360.371.2800

Cama Beach (with cabins)  360.387.1550

Camano Island  360.387.3031

Cape Disappointment   888.226.7688

Flaming Geyser   First come first served (next to Green River)

Fort Worden   360.344.4435

Kitsap Memorial   360.779.3205

Lake Chelan (she-lan)  888.226.7688

Lewis & Clark Trail   509.337.6457

Maryhill   509.773.5007

Mount Spokane (spo-kan)   509.238.4258

Potholes   888.226.7688

Rainbow Falls  First come first served  360.291.3767

Saltwater (by the salt water)  888.226.7688

Sequim Bay (squim)   888.226.7688

Squilchuck   509.664.6373

Tolmie   360.456.6464

Flaming geyser park

            Flaming Geyser Park…Ride The Rapids!

When Can I Arrive?

The above are just a few of the many Washington State Parks where you can make reservations and/or first come first served.  You be the judge of what you would like.

By making your reservations early on, you can be the one when to arrive.  Even though most folks prefer the peace of mind with a reservation, the just-drop-in-arrivals are also very welcome.

Arrival times and length of stays are just below in the Common Sense Rules.

Common Sense Rules To Know About

There is always general rules to comply with for the sake of all involved.  It’s not only showing courtesy, but demonstrating manners.

If there are disturbances or issues that arise, then contact the park rangers.  They are to be considered as the local police.

Keep in mind that as you arrive, you’ll be given an entrance pass.  It MUST be displayed!  If it’s not displayed, there is a $99.00 fine.  Make sure it is easy to see.

Hours for each park are quite similar to all other park hours.  Usually, the park closes at 10:00 pm along with quiet hours from 10:00 pm til 6:30 am.

Have a generator?  Use it only during the hours of 8:00 am til 9:00 pm, otherwise Mr. Park Ranger will be paying you a visit.

From April – September you’ll be able to stay 10 days total.  Good news is that from October – March you’ll be able to enjoy a 20 day stay.

Be sure and use trash cans, close lids, and pick up after yourselves.  Wildlife is attracted to trash that is either in your general area or surrounding trash containers.

Local resident to watch out for

Local resident to watch out for…a.k.a. Mr. Grizzly Bear


Pack-it-in and Pack-it-out, all hikers must carry out everything that they bring in.

Do not walk on the plant life or feed animals.

Horses need to be only in designated areas and only in parks that allow them.

How about your little pets that want to come along?  Almost 100% of parks will allow them, BUT they must be under control at all times.

Leases are the best bet.  Be sure and clean up any mess they may leave behind.  Remember the pack-it-in and pack-it-out rule?  🙂

Keep our 4-footed friends safe

Please Keep Me Safe

Check-Out is 1:00 pm or sooner.  This will allow time for new arrivals to Check-In after 2:30 pm

Vacation homes have a different set of rules that must be followed.  For instance, no pets or smoking allowed inside.

On the other hand, both are permitted in the cabins or yurts.

Glass bottles or cans can not be allowed in or around the swimming areas for obvious reasons.

Want a beer?  It’s OK, but only in the designated areas such as picnic or campgrounds.

Remember that any and all fireworks are not allowed in any of the parks.

Enjoy Your Stay And Be Sure And Visit Again !

Signing off now as :  The Happy Camper!

Share your camping stories in the spaces below.

written by :   Tom McDaniel Share this with others

Images by:  nationalparksplate,shutterstockmelaniemartin,activelynorthwest,seattletimes,