Deception Pass State Park

Deception Pass is Washington’s most-visited state park for a reason. Mysterious coves, rugged cliffs, jaw-dropping sunsets and a stomach-dropping high bridge make this park a go-to for locals and international travelers alike.

Families can fish and swim in Cranberry Lake. Beachcombers look for shells along miles of Puget Sound beachfront. Hikers can trek through forest and out along bluffs. And birdwatchers  fill their field guides with notes. You may see a whale or a family of seals as you gaze on the wild waters that once challenged early explorers.

Your inner explorer will delight in learning Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) history at Bowman Bay. The Corps was FDR’s Depression-era “Tree Army;” it employed nearly 3 million men and built many of America’s state and national parks. An extended stay at Deception Pass will have you peering into tide pools at Rosario Beach, boating at Cornet Bay, strolling on North and West beaches and gaping up at Hoypus Forest, one of Washington’s largest remaining old-growth stands.

You, your family and your out-of-town guests will be awestruck by the area’s beauty and history, and you’ll soon be planning your return.

Park Features

Deception Pass State Park spreads over 4,134 acres, a marine and camping park with 77,000 feet of saltwater shoreline and 33,900 feet of freshwater shoreline on three lakes. Deception Pass and the high bridge connect Western Washington’s mainland with Whidbey and Fidalgo islands, creating a gateway for exploration.

Automated pay stations: This park is equipped with automated pay stations for visitors to purchase a one-day or annual Discover Pass and boat launch permit.


Please note: U.S. Navy jets from nearby Naval Air Station Whidbey Island periodically fly over the campground while engaged in local training. Depending on the direction of the wind, their flight pattern may put them above the park, creating noisy conditions for campers. At various times during the day and night, the aviators may engage in Field Carrier Landing Practice for imminent operations aboard aircraft carriers. The park and naval station have been neighbors since 1942, and park staff stays in regular contact with officials at NAS Whidbey Island. We will do our best to notify campers of anticipated Field Carrier Landing Practice periods. Although State Parks cannot be responsible for the jet noise, we do share visitor concerns with our representatives of Naval Air Station Whidbey.
  1. Activities
  2. Boating
  3. Camping
  4. History
  5. Maps
  6. Video
ADA Amenities/Facilities
  • Campground
  • Hiking trail
  • Restroom
  • Picnic area
Picnic & Day-Use Facilities
The park provides five kitchen shelters with electricity and six without, all of which were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. Fifty sheltered and 261 unsheltered picnic tables are also provided. Picnic tables are first come, first served, but kitchen shelters are reservable.

Activities
Trails
  • 1.2 miles of ADA hiking trails
  • 3 miles of bike trails
  • 6 miles of horse trails
  • 38 miles of hiking trails
Water Activities & Features
  • 450 feet of dock
  • 710 feet of dock
  • 1,980 feet of moorage
  • Clamming
  • Crabbing
  • Diving
  • Five boat ramps
  • Freshwater boating
  • Freshwater fishing
  • Saltwater boating
  • Saltwater fishing
  • Swimming
  • Two boat ramps
  • White-water kayaking
Other Activities & Features
  • Beach exploration
  • Bird watching
  • Horseshoe pit
  • Mountain biking
  • Interpretive center
  • Sailboarding
  • Six fire circles
  • Two amphitheaters
  • Wildlife viewing
Interpretive Opportunities
The Civilian Conservation Corps Interpretive Center is located in the Bowman Bay area of the park. The center was originally a bathhouse built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s. In 1987, the building was renovated into a museum by CCC alumni and Washington State Parks staff. The center's exhibits tell the incredible story of the CCC's work across the State of Washington during the Great Depression.

The center is free-of-charge and is open from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. mid-May through Labor Day. Group tours and off-season visits can be arranged by calling (360) 675-3767.

The Sand Dunes Interpretive Trail at West Beach includes an observation deck and signage that explains local vegetation and ecosystems. 

The Maiden of Deception Pass story pole is located in the Rosario Beach area of the park. The carving depicts the story of Ko-Kwal-alwoot, a culturally important legend of the Samish Indian Nation.

Junior Ranger and other educational programs are offered mid-May through Labor Day at the park's amphitheater. A schedule of planned events is posted at the ranger contact station.

Additional Information
  • A playground is available in the park.
  • To prevent serious accidents, hikers are encouraged to stay on main trails and avoid straying to the sides.
  • Mountain biking is prohibited except in marked areas.
  • Fires and swimming are permitted in designated areas only.
  • A recreational license is required for fishing and shellfish harvesting at Washington state parks. For regulations, fishing season information, or to purchase a recreational license, visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.