Over 77,000 feet of shoreline channel the turbulent swift currents of Deception Pass. This is the Sound’s most popular destination for experienced paddlers to test their skills. The park also offers 3,000 acres of steep coastal forest. Hike to Deception Pass Bridge and take in a bird’s-eye view of the churning waters below.
Approach: Sand and gravel mixture. Easy at both high and low tides.
Location: This Cascadia Marine Trail site is on the Fidalgo Island side of Deception Pass, between the picnic shelter and the head of Bowman Bay pier. The site is 100 yards south of the pier.
Hazards: Do not attempt to navigate Deception Pass and Canoe Pass if you are not an expert. The passes should be negotiated at slack current, lasting only 15-20 minutes. Currents can exceed 8 knots, with eddies, boils and whirlpools. Dangerous to all craft.
Water: In main campground
Sanitation: Flush toilets & showers, 1/4 mile north
Overflow: Available at the discretion of the park ranger
Fires: No fires
Extras: 27 mi of hiking, underwater park, and environmental learning center
Fees: $14/night for up to 8 in site
Natural History: The English explorer Captain George Vancouver named the inner waterway Port Gardner. Later, a crew under command of Master Joseph Whidbey found the passage’s western entrance. Vancouver, feeling that he had been deceived by his Port Gardner, wrote on his chart Deception Pass. He also honored his officer by calling the large area Whidbey Island.