Bay View State Park
Pull up a camp chair, place it facing north, sit down and stay a while. Bay View State Park on Padilla Bay overlooks the San Juan Islands and offers up magnificent views of the archipelago. On clear or partially clear evenings, the skies light up and cast the islands in silhouette against the bright sunset colors.
Into active adventures? Get out on the water for sailboarding, waterskiing, paddle sports, fishing and swimming. Looking for relaxation? Lounge in camping chairs or enjoy the porch swing in your rental cabin.
This tiny park has a larger, interesting neighbor: Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve makes up 11,000 acres of the bay and draws students, scientists, activists and citizens for research, education, awareness and training. This reserve is one of five such protected areas in the western United States. Its habitat includes open waters, eelgrass beds, intertidal bays, uplands, freshwater sloughs and high salt marsh.
Countless marine animals call the area home. The Breazeale Padilla Bay Interpretive Center, located half-mile from the park, allows families and children to view and interact with the estuary through a series of exhibits and hands-on activities. Visible across the bay, an oil refinery reminds visitors of the challenges the modern world presents to marine areas.
Bay View State Park is a 66-acre camping park with 1,285 feet of saltwater shoreline on Padilla Bay.
- Kitchen shelter
- Picnic sites
Use our interactive ADA recreation map to search for other state parks with ADA amenities and facilities.
Picnic & day-use facilities
The beach shelter capacity is 175 people. It provides a view of Padilla Bay, two large barbecues, and ADA access, but no electricity. Rental fees vary depending on size of the group. To make a reservation, visit online or call (888) CAMPOUT or (888) 226-7688.
The park also provides six sheltered and 62 unsheltered picnic tables available first come, first served. No keg beer is permitted on the premises.
Water activities & features
- Fishing (saltwater)
- Personal watercraft use
Other activities & features
- Beach exploration
- Bird watching
- Fire pits throughout the beach area
- Kite flying
- Metal detecting
- The beach area is good for swimming, but there are no lifeguards on site. On windy days, with appropriate tides, sailboarding is becoming more popular.
- Padilla Bay Shore Trail is 1 mile south of the park.
- 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.
- Printable park brochure (PDF).
The park is on Padilla Bay with a public watercraft launch three blocks from the park. Be advised Padilla Bay is heavily influenced by tidal action. The bay becomes a large mud flat during low tides.
Skagit County Parks provides a boat launch 8 miles west of the park, just off Highway 20 under the Swinomish Channel. The launch is useable under various tide conditions. Additional information can be found in the Boating Program.
The park has 46 standard campsites, 30 partial-hookup sites, two restrooms and six showers. Maximum site length is 50 feet (limited availability). The campground is divided into three areas.
- Sites 1-9 (view sites) provide the best opportunity to view Padilla Bay and are also utility sites. Site length is approximately 50 feet and all sites are back-ins. Tents are not permitted in these sites.
- Sites 10-30 (hookup sites) face a 1.5-acre grassy section, which provides space for kids to play safely and for parents to keep an eye on them. Site length varies, with 40 feet the maximum length. All sites are back-ins.
- Sites 31-76 (standard campsites) provide a parking place, stove, picnic table and space to pitch a tent. Tent size and vehicle parking lengths vary from 25 to 40 feet. Only a few of the sites can accommodate a large tent. All sites are back-ins.
Check-in time is 2:30 p.m.
Check-out time is 1 p.m.
The park provides one group camp for tents only. The camp accommodates 20 to 24 people. There is no space for RVs. Showers and restrooms are nearby. Fees vary with size of the group.
The six cabins at Bay View are nestled among Douglas-fir trees with views of Padilla Bay and the San Juan Islands. Bay View cabins are within walking distance to the park’s beach area and Padilla Bay. Each cabin is furnished with one double bed (sleeps two) and two single bunks (each sleeps two). Outside is a fire ring and an upright pedestal grill. Two cabins have bathrooms. For more information, visit our cabins page.
Reservations & fees
Services & supplies
Ice is available for purchase at the park. Most services are available within 12 miles of the park. There are five golf courses in a 30-mile radius.
Bay View State Park was the home of Pat-Teh-Us, a Noo-Wha-Ah Indian Chief and signer of the Point Elliot Treaty. The town was named by William J. Mckenna, who plotted the original townsite in 1884. The original portion of the park was donated to the state in 1925 by the Skagit County Agricultural Association with the understanding that it would become a state park. Additional parcels were acquired up until 1968. The park site, formerly a baseball field and racetrack, derives its name from the community of Bay View.