Deception Pass State Park is Washington State’s most-visited state park for a reason.
Mysterious coves, rugged cliffs, jaw-dropping sunsets, and a stomach-dropping, two-span, high bridge make this park a go-to for locals and international travelers alike.
Families can fish and swim in Cranberry Lake. Beach explorers look for shells along miles of Puget Sound beachfront. Hikers can trek through forests 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.
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 trip.
Deception Pass State Park spreads over 3,854 acres, a marine and camping park with 77,000 feet of saltwater shoreline and 33,900 feet of freshwater shoreline on three lakes. The park is actually located on two islands — Fidalgo to the north and Whidbey to the south. The Canoe Pass and Deception Pass bridges connect the two islands, creating a gateway for exploration.
Getting to the Park
Deception Pass State Park straddles Whidbey Island and Fidalgo Island at the north end of the Puget Sound. You don’t have to take a ferry to get here (but you can). Please use the map below for directions.
Although there is only a minimal shoulder on Highway 20, many people brave the ride to Deception Pass. If you are coming north on Whidbey Island, it is possible to take back roads most of the way. If you’re coming by way of Fidalgo Island, you might consider biking to March Point and taking the an Island Transit Bus to the park. Bus bike racks are limited to three bikes.
Deception Pass State Park is served by Island County Transit.
If you’re willing to plan ahead, it’s possible to take public transit to Deception Pass from as far away as Olympia, Washington or Vancouver, BC. North Sound Transit Guide is a great resource for planning a multi-transit system trip.
Get your Discover Pass
A Discover Pass is required at the park. Click on the link to the right to find out more. There are several free days each year (over night camping is not free). Click here to find out about free days in Washington State Parks.
Summer is obviously glorious at the park but other times of year are also wonderful with misty mornings, waves crashing on the shorelines, quiet rain drops on leaves, and sometimes snow covered tree limbs. The park is open year-round for your exploration and enjoyment. Click here to check the weather before you come!
Staying at the Park
Check out Staying at the Park for information on campgrounds, campsites (some are reserved for those who come without a car), fees, the retreat center, bungalows, reservations and more.
Click here to download the official Park Map
Tides are of particular interest to those who like to walk and play on the beach, swim, fish, and boat. Click here to find out more about tides at the park. The park generally has two high tides and two low tides each day and the change can be as much as 15 feet. Note that tide changes are often accompanied by swifter currents. Use caution and care while near or on the water, obey all safety rules, and know your limits.
Fishing and Boating
The park has options for both salt and fresh water fishing and boating, including multiple launch sites. Please visit the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife to find out if you will need a fishing license. To find out more about boating at the park, please click here.
Biking and Horseback Riding within the Park
Some trails in the park are open to bikes and horses. The southern portion of Hoypus Forest offers the most multi-use trails.