Deception Pass State ParkLeave review
About Deception Pass State Park
Campgrounds in Deception Pass
Drop some Deception Pass knowledge on us.
1.5 hrs from Seattle. Bowman Bay was my childhood family's favorite campground, and for good reason. Set in old growth forest with water-view campsites, it's one of Washington's most pristine, tranquil parks. With only 20 campsites it always feels intimate even when full. Hot showers are in the clean bathrooms.
Relaxing trails take off on either side of the bay. One of which goes to Rosario Beach, where the picture at the top of this page was taken, not Bowman Bay. The cabins in the picture are nowhere near the campground. It's a .7 mile hike, perfect to watch the sunset and return before nightfall.
Cons: Sometimes jets from the Whidbey Island Airbase fly over at night. Locals call it the Sound of Freedom. Reservations a must.
Deception pass is one of the most incredible spots in greater Seattle area. The camping was very private and quiet. I wouldn't recommend this site for people looking to swim and get sun. But I highly recommend this site for a gorgeous, PNW treasure in a private, wooded camping ground.
History of Deception Pass State Park
The human history of the park dates back thousands of years, when the first people settled in the areas now known as Cornet Bay, Bowman Bay, and Rosario. Eventually, the land was settled by the Samish and the Swinomish. They lived on the land until the early 1900s.
During his Northwest coastal explorations, Captain George Vancouver became the first European to identify the area near Whidbey Island as a passage, which he named Deception Pass. A 1923 act of Congress designated the property for public recreation purposes. In the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built roads, trails, buildings, and bridges to develop the park.
The name Deception Pass derived from Captain Vancouver's realization that what he had mistaken for a peninsula was actually an island. He named that island Whidbey in honor of his assistant, Joseph Whidbey, who was at his side when Vancouver realized the mistake. The captain named the inlet at which he was anchored Deception Pass to commemorate the error.