Camping in Deception Pass with snow sports

Sleep in old-growth forests next to the state’s most epic bridge span.

95% (2019 reviews)
95% (2019 reviews)

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Camping in Deception Pass with snow sports guide


Deception Pass State Park has a little bit of everything Northwesterners hold dear: rugged saltwater shoreline, freshwater lakes, old growth forest, wildlife, and views stretching across Puget Sound. The park’s centerpiece is the Deception Pass bridge, which flies high above the cliffs and links the mainland with Whidbey Island. Campsites are scattered around the park, including a boat-in cabin and forested tent spots. 

Notable campgrounds

  • Best for sunset: Bowman Bay
  • Best for paddlers: Ben Ure Island
  • Best for groups: Cranberry Lake

Tips for snagging a campsite

  1. You can reserve all of the park’s 172 tent sites, 134 partial-hookup sites, and five hiker/biker sites online. 
  2. Deception Pass is a popular state park. Reservations should be made in advance, especially for summer weekends. All campsites can be reserved online, up to nine months in advance of the arrival date. 
  3. The Ben Ure Cabin on Ben Ure Island is accessible only by kayak or rowboat, and guests must bring their own water.

When to go

Deception Pass State Park is open year-round. In the Coastal Northwest’s relatively mild climate, there’s never a bad time to visit. Summers, especially on weekends and holidays, are very busy here. But come in the shoulder season—in the spring or early summer, before July 4—or early fall, after Memorial Day, and you’re more likely to find seclusion. Weekdays are generally a better bet, too.

Know before you go

  • You can rent kayaks and stand-up paddleboards at the Bowman Bay concession stand from April through September. 
  • Visitors will need to display a day-use or annual Discover Pass. The park has automated pay stations dispensing both, along with boat launch permits. 
  • The park has 1.2 miles of ADA hiking trails, in addition to three miles of bike trails, six miles of horse trails, and 38 miles of hiking trails.

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