Saddlebag Island Marine State Park

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Whether you’re chasing a warm pebble beach, a grassy meadow or a green forest, you’ll find it at Saddlebag Island. 

Among the easternmost of the San Juan Islands, Saddlebag sits between Padilla Bay and Guemes Island and is only accessible by boat. Its low-slung mass is often thought of as a North Puget Sound island, and not part of the San Juan chain.

Like many Puget Sound islands, Saddlebag offers crabbing and fishing. The island’s proximity to Padilla Bay, a National Estaurine Sanctuary, means wildlife sightings are common. Bald eagles and peregrine falcons are known to frequent the area, and harbor seals rest beneath Saddlebag’s stony cliffs. (Please stay at least 100 feet away and do not disturb them; doing otherwise is illegal.) April and May bring a profusion of wildflowers that light up the meadows. Motorized water sports are permitted here, so don’t forget water skis!

This park is a 4-mile kayak from Anacortes through Guemes Channel, a strenuous day trip or a solid overnighter, and the area around Dot Island is very shallow, so kayak is king. After your exploration by land or by water, pull up a camp chair, grill up the catch of the day, and enjoy this San Juan island outlier.

Park features


Saddlebag Island (including Dot Island) is a 24-acre marine park located in Padilla Bay with 6,750 feet of shoreline. The park is named for the two rocky knobs separated by a narrow “saddle” of land that form the shape of the island.
  1. Activities
  2. Boating
  3. Camping
  4. History
  5. Maps

Picnic & day-use facilities


One picnic site is available. There is no potable water or garbage service on the island. Visitors must pack out what they pack in.

Activities


Trails


  • 0.9 miles of hiking trails

Water activities & features


  • Boating
  • Crabbing
  • Diving
  • Fishing (saltwater)
  • Personal watercraft use
  • Swimming
  • Water skiing

Other activities


  • Bird watching
  • Wildlife viewing

Additional information


  • Crabbing is excellent in Padilla Bay, adjacent to Saddle Bay Island.
  • 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 website.