Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Deception Pass, Whidbey Island

Deception Pass in Washington State is a narrow channel of water that separates Whidbey Island from Fidalgo Island connecting Skagit Bay in Puget Sound with the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Deception Pass was discovered by Joseph Whidbey during the 1792 Vancouver expedition to the Pacific Northwest. Vancouver named it Deception Pass because it had appeared to be a narrow bay instead of a strait.

A 976 foot bridge connects Fidalgo and Whibey islands. The two spans of the bridge were constructed high above the pass as a public works project in 1935. In the middle is tiny Pass Island. Here you will find a small viewpoint parking area. There are also turnouts and parking areas on each side of the bridge. The bridge itself has narrow pedestrian walkways for the brave (not me!).

Deception Pass State Park is located on both sides of the strait. It was also constructed in the 1930s as a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) public works project. Today, it is the most visited state park in Washington. It offers camping, picnicing, hiking, boating, kayaking, fishing and swimming. Camp and picnic areas have shelters for fireplaces and picnic tables. Seeing one of the original ones at the north shore picnic area really brought back memories of camping when I was young. If you prefer something less rustic, there are hotels and motels in nearby Anacortes and Oak Harbor.

Because it's a narrow strait, the tides create a flow of water up to 6 knots. Sailboats with small engines can be seen waiting for the tide to change before attempting passage. Even powerboats with larger engines time their transit for calmer waters. For viewing, I recommend the north beach area on the Whidbey side of the park. Day use is free. The trail from the parking area to the beach is only 1/10th of a mile down a gentle trail.

Sit on a log and watch your cares flow away. -- Margy


  1. Beautiful shots and I love the bridge.

  2. Another place to put on my go-see list the next time I get up to Washington. The structures that the CCC built are amazing. I recently learned that the corps built the steps on the highest trail in the nearby Pinnacles National Park.

  3. Su-siee! Mac - There are so many great places to visit that don't cost a thing. It can get crowded in summer, but in the off season it is so peaceful.

    Thanks Birgitta and Sallie -- Margy


Thanks for stopping by. Comments, questions, and suggestions are always welcome. - Margy