Griffin Bay was the site of Old San Juan Town, a shanty town that grew up on the boundary of American Camp. The saloon was the primary attraction in town. When the county of San Juan was established, the county seat was placed in Friday Harbor. Now Griffin Bay is much quieter, remote from land traffic.
Approach: Gravel and pebbles at high tide, rocks at low tide.
Location: On San Juan Island, 0.4 mile S of Low Point, across from Halftide Rock. Look for the large Washington State Parks sign on the shore. 4 sites, two are close to shore and two are 400 yards inland near toilets.
Hazards: Currents to 4 knots and heavy rip tides in nearby Cattle Pass.
Sanitation: Vault toilets
Fires: Fire pits
Extras: Picnic tables
Fees: $12/night for up to 8 in site
Special Considerations: This site is bordered by private property. Good fishing near Fish Creek.
Natural History: British troops stationed their ships here in 1859 in the “Pig War” on San Juan Island. When American farmer shot a British-owned pig, on June 15, 1859, the U.S. Army and British Royal Navy were at gunpoint. Officials on both sides quickly restored calm and the nations agreed to joint occupation of the island until the boundary dispute was resolved.