Would you rather sail than drive on your next vacation? Check out Sucia Island Marine State Park.
Among the northernmost of the San Juan Islands, this horseshoe-shaped island is accessible only by watercraft. Boaters venturing into its coves and harbors quickly discover why Sucia Island is considered the crown jewel in the state marine park system and a boating destination that's world class.
The main island, surrounded by picturesque rocks and smaller islands, gave pause to the Spanish explorers who navigated its waters in 1791. They called it "sucia" or "foul," a nautical term describing navigational obstacles such as the rocks around the island. The island and its waters are, in fact, pristine, and the satellite rocks make for interesting diving and kayaking.
On April 10, 2012, part of a femur bone from a theropod dinosaur was discovered in a rock on the island. (Theropods are a group of meat-eating, two-legged dinosaurs, including T. rex and Velociraptor.) The 80-million-year-old fossil was spotted and excavated by paleontologists at Seattle's Burke Museum.
Known for its emerald waters and forested trails, its magnificent sunsets and sandstone formations, Sucia Island is prized by locals for its off-season beauty and solitude.
So, pack up the boat, leave the car behind, and blaze a watery trail to this northwestern paradise.
Sucia Island Marine State Park is an 814-acre marine park with 77,700 feet of shoreline and abundant camping and moorage. The main island and several smaller islands comprise the "Sucia group." There are no services on this island, and fossil collecting is strictly prohibited in this and all Washington state parks.
PICNIC & DAY-USE FACILITIES
The park offers 25 picnic sites, five picnic shelters, potable drinking water at Fossil Bay early April through September, Echo Bay and Shallow Bay May through September and composting toilets. Day-use areas may be reserved nine months in advance online or by calling (888) 226-7688.
10 miles of hiking trails
WATER ACTIVITIES & FEATURES
640 feet of dock
Located in Puget Sound in San Juan County, Sucia Island has 48 mooring buoys, two linear moorage systems and two docks. These are found at six locations around the island. Dock One is removed late October through March. Anchorage is available in all of the bays and coves, and there is no fee fo r boats riding on their own anchor.
Camping is available on a first come, first served basis. The park has 60 standard campsites, four reservable group camps, four picnic shelters, potable drinking water at Fossil Bay early April through September, Echo Bay and Shallow Bay May through September and composting toilets.
Check-in time is 2:30 p.m.
Check-out time is 1 p.m.