A pleasant glide on a flood tide takes you in the long throat of Stuart Island to the western most campground on the Cascadia Marine Trail. Time your arrival and departure to the tides to avoid a long haul to the campsite. And be sure to allow time for game spotting as you pass Spieden Island, once an African game farm. Landing on Spieden is prohibited.
Approach: The lengthy sandy beach and towering trees are welcome after a long paddle through Reid Harbor past larger boats that won’t be able to get where you’re heading. The campsite is at the northern end of the harbor so make landfall to the starboard.
Location: Stuart Island is 4 miles north-west of San Juan Island. Campsite lies 1.5 miles north-west from the opening of Reid Harbor. Reid Harbor has a marsh at its head close to the campsite.
Water: Available May 15-Sept. 4
Sanitation: Vault toilets
Overflow: Saddle area between Reid & Prevost Harbors
Fires: Fire rings available
Extras: Excellent clamming for littlenecks and butter clams on the gravel beach.
Fees: $12/night for up to 8 in site
Special Considerations: Remember to respect adjoining private property boundaries.
Natural History: Stuart Island was named either by the Wilkes Expedition in 1841 in honor of Frederick D. Stuart, the captain’s clerk on the expedition, or for Captain. Charles Edward Stuart of the Hudson’s Bay Company in Victoria: the jury is still out. A family of settlers known as the Chebaliers lived on the island for several years, sustaining themselves by raising turkeys, logging, and cultivating a large garden. The oldest son, William, rowed two miles each day to the school at the head of Stuart Island’s Reid Harbor.