ADDRESS

Deception Pass State Park
41020 State Route 20
Oak Harbor, WA 98277

HOURS

Dawn to Dusk

CONTACT

(360) 675-3767
Deception Pass State Park

AMENITIES

Camping, Picnic Facilities, Restrooms, Trails, Wheelchair Accessible

West Beach is a location in Deception Pass State Park on the southwest side of the iconic Deception Pass Bridge.  From West Beach looking to north, you look straight at Lighthouse Point, Rosario Head, and Deception Island.  To the east, you look directly back at Deception Pass, Pass Island, and Canoe Pass.  To the west you have an opportunity to see the San Juan Islands and the majestic Olympic Mountains.  Finally, to the south you have an opportunity to visit a unique freshwater lake (Cranberry lake) which is separated from the saltwater by unusual northwest sand dunes.

WHERE THE WHALES ARE

There are two trails nearby that provide great vantage points to see whales and marine mammals.  The first trail is the West Beach Trail.  This trail is primarily a paved trail that has a viewing point that looks directly out at Rosario Strait.  On occasion you would have an opportunity to see a wide variety of marine life.  The second trail is referred to as the North Beach Trail.  From this trail you have an opportunity to see a wide variety of whales and sea mammals throughout the year including Harbor porpoises, Harbor seals, California and/or Stellar sea lions, Humpback whales, Minke whales, Orcas and Gray whales.  Orcas are the favorite  for many to see, and if you are lucky, you may get to see the Orcas pass under the Deception Pass Bridge and through Deception Pass.

WHICH ANIMALS YOU CAN EXPECT TO SEE

SEASONALITY

Harbor porpoises, Harbor seals can be seen year round. CA sea lions and Stellar sea lions can be seen year round, but may be more common in spring/fall. Dall’s could be seen year round, but are around in much lower numbers.

Orca, Humpback, Minke, and Gray whales are most often seen in the spring/summer/early fall (April-September).

DECEPTION PASS

West Beach, North Beach, Little North Beach, and the Deception Pass area are a shared habitat.  These areas provide a unique opportunity for a wide variety of activities for marine life and humans.  You may get to see the unique Oystercatcher or the uncommon Pigeon Guillemot.  You will likely get to see harbor porpoises and harbor seals, and during the right time of year, the Orcas, Humpbacks, and Gray Whales.  If the salmon run is active, then you will likely get to see a wide variety of marine mammals feeding, the Orcas in the Channel, the Samish and Swinomish Tribe fishing, or the beach lined with people trying to catch the elusive fish.

MAP AND DIRECTIONS

VIEWING GUIDE

View our guide on how to watch marine animals from shore.

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