Gorgeous Watmough Bay, Lopez Island, WA
We mean it about the gorgeous. Along with Iceberg Point (last post) & Shark Reef Sanctuary (next post), Watmough Bay completes the tri-force of awesomeness that exists only on Lopez Island.
The parking lot is small & has restrooms & don't worry about a Discover Pass - you're on island property. After you park, a less-than-a-mile trail heads through the forest to the beach.
Once you get there just relax & take it all in. Rocky cliffs meet the Sound in this secluded cove. You'll almost forget you're in Washington state's San Juan Islands & that the light blue water is icy cold - this is the Northwest Caribbean!
~Paul, Amber, Mom, Sis ETC
No reading. The internet ends here. Do not read this blog post. This is a private article. Do not enter. Oh, hello! Sorry about that - I just wanted to prepare you for exploring Iceberg Point on Lopez Island. It's one of our favorite places in the Northwest and we almost missed it…twice…due to the secretive/no trespassing vibe that surrounds this gorgeous place!
First, park at nearby Agate Beach Park. Make sure to use the best composting toilet on the planet while you're there (pics below).
After parking at nearby Agate Beach and walking up a residential gravel road (hence the no parking signs everywhere), you'll almost miss your right turn unless you're looking out for the rusty, small, almost hidden Iceberg Pt. sign. From there, cross a few more warning signs and start down the path.
Luckily some super nice neighbors, including a really furry one, pointed us in the right direction. After a little of woods walking you'll arrive at fields overlooking the Strait. Cliffs jet down to the sea and you'll see the Olympics across the water. Look to the west and you'll be staring at Canada!
An amazing place. Totally worth the short hike from Agate Beach. We were here on a sunny summer day and the place was totally free of people. If you're anywhere close to Lopez Island you must come here!
~Paul, Amber, Sis, Mom, Furry-dude
In our next few posts we're gonna profile our favorite island in Washington's San Juans - Lopez. It's the quieter one. The one where all passing cars wave at you as you drive by. It's a great place to cycle. We think it's the prettiest! Our first stop: Spencer Spit State Park.
The entrance to the park is about 4 miles from the ferry terminal (10 minutes when you factor in all of the waiving to oncoming drivers). Ferries leave the mainland at the town of Anacortes.
From the parking lot, there's a trail down to the spit/lagoon/beach/waterfront. Campsites are along the way - near the water and in the woods. Reservations can be made in the summer months (info here) and the park is closed late Oct-Feb.
The park is around 138 acres and there's plenty to explore. It has a great beach on one side of the spit, and a cool lagoon on the other. There's day use picnic tables near the beach, more trails through the woods, and a old cabin near the end of the spit. There's kayak rentals in the summer months - look for a small hut near the beginning of the beach.
Definitely worth a stop if you're on the island and a great place to camp in the summer. Be sure to bring your WA state Discover Pass for parking. Stay tuned to the blog this week for more posts from Lopez!
~Paul & Amber ETC
More ETC posts from the San Juans
Although we didn't stay overnight at the Rosario Resort & Spa on Orcas Island, we still strolled the self-guided museum inside the main building and checked out the sweet views from all around the property. The Resort is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was built by Robert Moran between 1906-1909. Name sound familiar? Adjacent is Moran State Park, also named for the dude, and one of Washington's first state parks made with land donated by Moran.
As you can imagine, Moran had some cash. He earned it in Seattle as a big time shipbuilder. His company, Moran Bros, became the largest shipbuilding outfit around and Seattle's largest employer around the start of the 1900s.
Interesting fact: Robert was inspired to purchase this huge lot in the San Juans (Rosario & the adjacent land that is Moran State Park) by his travels to Alaska with John Muir in the late 1800s. Moran was the onboard engineer on Muir's boats and often chatted him up about the deforestation of the Northwest. Who the heck is John Muir you ask? The founder of the Sierra Club!
The museum is free and open to the public. The grounds are gorgeous, the crazy organ/piano room is awesome and concerts are held regularly. There's a restaurant, marina, spa, they've got it all. Not bad Moran, not bad!
~Paul & Amber ETC
The Resort & History about the place
The John Muir & Robert Moran connection
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