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Topic: The San Juan Islands in the PNW (Read 374 times) previous topic - next topic

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  • RAFH
  • Have a life, already.
The San Juan Islands in the PNW
Wow! That's all I can say about these islands, especially Lopes. I know it's against my interests to interest others in this place, but Wow.
We spent the 22nd through the 25th on Lopez. We were here last Fall for one night and fell in love with the place. It is excruciatingly beautiful, every view is a picture postcard. Doesn't matter which way you turn or where you are. It's all just gorgeous.

This time we camped at Spencer Spit, on the northern end of the eastern shore. It's an odd place, this spit of sand and gravel sticking out into a channel between Lopez and Frost Islands for the last 15K years. With a serious current between the two, both ways with the tide. It should not exist but it does. Great beach combing and a really nice campground, site 14 is especially nice. Long walk from the camp areas to the beach with a significant vertical drop.

The rest of the island is magical. From the numerous coves on the south end to Lopez Village on the east side (with one of the best sources of fudge in the world - but pricey) to Sharks Reef where there is a massive tidal race (heard the roar of the water from 200 yards back in the forest). I mean, seriously, some of the channels between the rocks were like rafting rivers.

One of the best experiences is Watmaugh Bay on the extreme SE corner of the island, with soaring cliffs and views of snow clad Mt Baker 50 miles to the ENE.

It's not inexpensive but not prohibitively so. There's also Odlin County Park which is pretty nice and has space right on the water. And lots and lots of BnBs. Some are very pricey and some are not so bad. But whatever the cost, it's worth it. No question about that. The San Juans are probably the most scenic place there is. Literally dozens of islands, most of them private, but four are public and those include Orcas (appropriately named) with it's 2400' Mt Constitution and views ranging from Mt Rainier (some 120 miles to the SSE) to the Canadian Rockies (some 50 miles to the NW) and fabulous lakes.

 Overall, a 5* destination.
Are we there yet?

Re: The San Juan Islands in the PNW
Reply #1
Love the San juans. Love them.
Love is like a magic penny
 if you hold it tight you won't have any
if you give it away you'll have so many
they'll be rolling all over the floor

Re: The San Juan Islands in the PNW
Reply #2
Love the San juans. Love them.
Agreedo. We went there several times a year when we lived in the area. Hell, just the ferry ride over was really nice.

  • Brother Daniel
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Re: The San Juan Islands in the PNW
Reply #3
Interesting case where a territorial dispute was decided peacefully by arbitration by a third party.

So thank the Germans (particularly Kaiser Wilhelm I) for deciding that the San Juans would be US turf.


  • Bilirubin
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Re: The San Juan Islands in the PNW
Reply #4
We get a few of them ourselves. Plus the really big one.