Visiting the Park

Getting to the Park

Deception Pass State Park straddles Whidbey Island and Fidalgo Island at the north end of the Puget Sound. You don’t have to take a ferry to get here (but you can). Please use the map below for directions.

Biking: Although there is only a minimal shoulder on Highway 20, many people brave the ride to Deception Pass. If you are coming from south of the park, it is possible to take back roads most of the way. If you’re coming from north of the park, consider biking to March Point, and then taking the free Island County Bus to the park (more info below).

Public Transit: Deception Pass State Park is served by Island County Transit Monday through Saturday. Island County buses are free.

  • If you’re coming from Oak Harbor, take the 411 Mount Vernon.
  • If you’re coming from Anacortes, take the 410 to March Point (Skagit Transit, fare is $1) and transfer to the 411 Oak Harbor.
  • If you’re coming from Mount Vernon, take the 411 Oak Harbor.
  • If you’re willing to plan ahead, it’s possible to take public transit to Deception Pass from as far away as Olympia, Washington or Vancouver, BC. North Sound Transit Guide is a great resource for planning a multi-transit system trip.

There are campsites reserved for visitors who come without a car. Please check our Camping page for more info.

Camping

Check out our camping page for information on campgrounds, campsites, fees, and reservations.

Maps

Check out our map page to download the official park map and learn about where you can purchase your own copy.

Recreation

Fishing on North BeachFishing and Boating

Cornet Bay has a six-lane boat launch with large parking areas nearby. From this launch, boaters can gain access to the Pass and nearby islands.

Bowman Bay has a one-lane boat launch offering access to Bowman Bay and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It is muddy at very low tides.

Fishing in the Pass and nearby areas is very popular at certain times of the year. Ling cod, salmon, shrimp, smelt, crab, and bottom fish can all be found in abundance in season. The saltwater areas of the Pass and nearby bays and passages are very scenic, but also extremely dangerous due to strong currents, winds, and waves coming in from the Strait. Use caution and care while on the water, obey all safety rules, and know your limits and the limits of your vessel.

Kayaking in the quieter waters of the park area is a great way to see the spectacular shorelines up close and personal. In addition the park’s two freshwater lakes, Bowman Bay and Cornet Bay are calm, saltwater inlets that are ideal for human-powered boating. Kayaking in the Pass itself requires high-level skills and an awareness of the inherent hazards.

Cranberry Lake has a car-top boat launch near West Beach for human powered or electric motor boats. The lake is popular for trout fishing.

Pass Lake is a quality fly-fishing lake and has an area for launching human-powered boats. Catch and release only.

Biking and Horseback Riding

Some trails in the park are open to bikes and horses. The southern portion of Hoypus Forest offers the most multi-use trails. Check the official park map to see which trails are accessible.

The Ben Ure Cabin

A rustic but comfortable two-person cabin is available for rent on Ben Ure Island. Situated on the eastern tip of the island, the cabin has excellent views of Simik Bay and even Mount Baker on clear days. The cabin has a stove, refrigerator, cooking utensils, running water and an outdoor shower.

Bring your own drinking and cooking water, food and bedding. Access to the island is by kayak or canoe only. There is a maximum of 2 people and no pets are allowed. Ben Ure Island is small and is also home to several private residences, therefore there is not a lot of room for land-based exploration on the island. However, if you are seeking a peaceful place to relax and unwind, the Ben Ure Cabin is a worthwhile escape.

The Ben Ure Cabin can be reserved through the Washington State Parks reservation system.

This web site is maintained for the Deception Pass Park Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. It is NOT supported by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, the agency that manages and operates Deception Pass State Park, nor does this website represent the official views of the Commission. The information on this web site is maintained for the Foundation as reasonably current and dependable information for your benefit and use. The Foundation seeks to support Deception Pass State Park and provide valuable services to its visitors. All of the money raised by the Foundation goes to the direct benefit of the educational and resource protection programs of Deception Pass State Park.
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