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Sucia Island State Park

Puget Sound and Islands


Puget Sound and Islands -- San Juan Islands
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10.0 miles of trails


Gain: 223 ft.
Highest Point: 223 ft.


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Far to the north, between the Strait of Georgia and the waters surrounding the San Juan Islands is a funny-shaped little island with a wealth of hiking trails on its relatively small square acreage. Sucia (Spanish for "dirty") was so named by explorers because of the rocks and currents that made for challenging navigation around the island. Despite the "dirty" water, the island itself is quite charming. Madronas and bluffs offer views of the surrounding water, wildlife is abundant, and there are even several campsites here. With six corners to explore via roads and trails that make up the trail system on the island, Sucia is quite the destination, so long as you have a boat. It is an island, after all. 

This state park is situated in the northern waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Boaters and sailors alike consider Sucia a world-class destination, and it's not uncommon for the docks and bays around Sucia to be quite crowded in the summertime. But the island itself absorbs people quite well -- it's possible to explore the island and experience solitude if you venture out from the main landing areas. 

Visit the northeast finger of the island, close to Ewing Island for real quiet. There's only one campground at the very end of the finger, which boats cannot reach due to dangerous conditions in Ewing Cove. Visitors can hike along the midline of the island visitors can walk along a high bluff, looking right down into Echo Bay, or to the left and up to the Strait of Georgia. 

For a more varied experience, head to the beach on Shallow Bay, where at low tide it is possible to walk north or south then up away from the beach in a variety of loops. Wildlife is here, including otters and seals, as well as shorebirds and excellent tidepooling. 

The main dock on Sucia is on the southeast side of the island, near a large group campsite on the edge of Fossil Bay. Just across a small tombolo is Fox Cove, another rugged, small cove. Walk around the finger to the southwest of Fox Cove at low tide and you'll enjoy views of Little Sucia Island and the waters to the west. There are also huge bluffs above you and interesting driftwood piles. 

The island's rock is primarily sandstone, complete with its interesting formations and gently sloping curves. Madronas line the island along with deciduous trees and evergreens. 10 miles of trails weave beneath the boughs of these trees, meaning you can easily spend a full weekend here and still not see the whole island! 

Historical Note: In April 2012, paleontologists from the Burke Museum found and excavated part of a femur bone from a theropod dinosaur in a rock on the island. (Famous theropods are T. Rex and velociraptors.) Fossils may still be found on the island today. Please take care to preserve the artifacts of the past and leave them for future visitors. 


Sucia Island State Park

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 48.7528, -122.9043 Open map in new window


Puget Sound and Islands -- San Juan Islands

Washington State Parks

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Guidebooks & Maps

Getting There

Sucia Island is just north of Orcas Island. A boat is required to reach it.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

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Sucia Island State Park

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