Sunday, August 25, 2013

Deception Pass State Park, Whidbey Island, WA.

    Deception Pass State Park is located at the north end of Whidbey Island and the south end of Fidalgo Island, west of Seattle.  The park has amazing scenery focusing on beaches, the bridge, islands, and some old-growth forest.  I hiked the West Beach Trail and then did a long hike in the much less trafficked Hoypus Hill area.

     There were lots of people fishing in the surf at West Beach and after watching a few people reel in some big ones, we walked south along the paved loop trail.  The trail has lots of educational signage about the various ecosystems it travels through.  We went down the beach side first and had the beach to ourselves.  The trail headed inland on the way back and passed by some moss drenched alders and tall ferns.
     The many miles of hiking and mixed-use trails in the Hoypus Hill area are not well-advertised (I was told by a ranger to checkout West Beach and I struggled to find the trailhead at Hoypus).  The trail map I purchased informed me that sections of the Hoypus Hill area were old growth, and I can say those areas had larger trees and felt different.  The whole area was beautiful and the dirt paths, lined with huge ferns and towering evergreens were fun to walk, though horses and bikes are allowed on many of them. We only encountered other people on the paved trail along the shore even though this was a Saturday in the "best summer ever" in the Seattle area, so it is safe to say these trails are secluded.  I didn't see much in the way of wildlife outside of some squirrels and a couple species of enormous slugs.  I recommend bringing a map since there is a maze of trails in the area and my GPS signal died for most of the hike.

Bridge - Deception Pass

West Beach - Deception Pass State Park

Moss-coated Alders - West Beach Loop

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