Cypress Head


Cypress Head is open all year for overnight camping. Cypress Island features a tombolo, a sand bar connecting one island to another, on its eastern side that creates a bay and a cove on either side. Campsites are perched high on this peninsula with excellent views.

Approach: Rock and gravel beaches on both north and south sides of the tombolo. The north beach is more convenient.

Location: Cypress Island is north of Washington Park in Anacortes. Campsite at Cypress Head is on the easternmost point of the island.

Hazards: The head creates back eddies and rips that can be very strong, dangerous and turbulent. Hug the shoreline to approach. Remember, a straight line is often the slowest path.

Sites: 5

Water: None

Sanitation: Composting toilet

Overflow: Allowed in camp area

Fires: Fire rings available

Extras: 2 picnic areas

Fees: Free

Special Considerations: Site is within a Natural Resource Conservation Area. Use minimum-impact camping techniques. Trail access to the upland has recently been added.

Natural History: Maps of the late 18th century show the Spanish name for the island as Isla de S. Vincente, in honor of the Mexican Viceroy. Captain George Vancouver named the island Cypress in 1792 after trees on the island which he thought were cypress. Botanists have since declared the trees to be junipers. Cypress Island is located in one of the geologically oldest areas of the San Juans and is now mostly preserved. Washington State Department of Natural Resources manages 4,700 of the island’s 5,500 acres.

Reservations: No

Latitude: 48.5685
Longitude: -122.6703

Additional Resources: Google Maps Page, Guide Book PDF