AAA Editor Notes
Deception Pass State Park is 9 mi. n. to 41020 SR 20. Capt. George Vancouver named the cliff-lined channel that separates Whidbey and Fidalgo islands in 1792. Within the park's 4,134 acres are freshwater lakes, marshland, sand dunes, offshore islands and almost 15 miles of saltwater shoreline. The coastal landscape comprises cliffs, rocky shores, beaches of gravel and sand, tidal flats and hidden coves—and a plethora of spectacular views.
Cedar, Douglas fir, hemlock and spruce form magnificent stands of old-growth forest. Some 38 miles of hiking trails meander through the park. Hike to West Beach, a long, skinny stretch of sand littered with huge bleached logs; it's an exceptionally scenic spot for sunset watching.
Wildlife is abundant, although the animal residents may not always be visible. Mammals include deer, foxes, muskrats, otters and skunks. Among the 174 species of birds are gulls, herons, ducks, owls and bald eagles. Tide pool explorations will uncover clams, crabs and sea cucumbers.
A roadside viewpoint at the southern end of Deception Pass Bridge offers a panorama of Deception Pass, the channel between Whidbey and Fidalgo islands. When the tide changes there often are spectacular displays of churning water and roiling eddies as ocean water pushes and pulls through the narrows. If you're not afraid of heights, take in the view from the bridge's pedestrian walkway (and exercise caution due to the frequent traffic).
Pets on leash are allowed. Recreational activities are permitted. Camping is permitted. Picnicking is permitted. Food is available.