There are many Department of Natural Resources (DNR) beaches along the east side of this steep-banked island. Most are accessible by boat only. At places on the south end of Lummi the bluffs rise 1,500 feet from the water. The Cascadia Marine Trail campsite is located in the most southerly of three coves on DNR’s 2,125 foot shoreline, just under two miles from the island’s southern tip.
Location: Lummi Island is between Orcas Island and Bellingham. Campsite is near the southern tip of the island on the east side.
Sanitation: Vault toilets
Fires: Fire grates
Extras: Picnic tables
Special Considerations: Located within a Natural Resouce Conservation Area. Stay on maintained trails and follow minimum-impact camping techniques. This site lovingly maintained by the Whatcom Area Kayak Enthusiasts (WAKE) club from Bellingham.
Natural History: This island was originally called Skallaham by Lummi Indians (thought to have had housing nearby used for hunting lodges). It was called Isla de Pacheco by Spanish explorers Galiano and Valdez, and Lummi by the U.S. Geodetic Survey in 1853. The name is thought to refer to luminara, great bonfires seen by the Spaniards as they arrived.
There is now a ladder and ropes installed to allow access to the headland campsite. A more permanent solution would require lumber, concrete and approval from DNR. The other campsites are up the hill from either beach but the trails are steep in places. Suggest we meet with DNR and think about a long-term fix: stairs, an add’l picnic table and better signage. Site could also use an add’l carsonite stake- one marking each cove.
Visited spring 2022. Beach access is now restricted on Lummi Nation to only tribal members at Gooseberry Point (north end of Hale’s Passage). I parked near the boat launch where I was given permission by the attendant in the shed to launch and park. $5 a day parking, but no launch fee for hand launched vehicles.