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Deception Pass Images and Information

The Deception Pass area is one of the more stunning and varied paddling locations in the Pacific Northwest.  It has fresh water lakes, sheltered salt-water coves, sea caves, sandy beaches, 200 foot cliffs, a graceful two-span bridge, rocky islands, and currents to almost 9 knots.  It is a world-class location for advanced paddler training, and features multiple camp grounds.  There is also an interesting interpretive center at Bowman Bay that explains the Civilian Conservation Corps, much information about native peoples and historical visits to the area.   Not to mention occasional flybys by Navy jets.

“Deception Pass is Washington’s most-visited state park for a reason. Mysterious coves, rugged cliffs, jaw-dropping sunsets and a stomach-dropping high bridge make this park a go-to for locals and international travelers alike. Deception Pass State Park spreads over 4,134 acres, a marine and camping park with 77,000 feet of saltwater shoreline.”

Because of the currents, waves, and dynamic weather of the area, make sure you plan any paddling in the Deception Pass area with great care (ideally with experienced help), and remember to carry at least one charged marine radio with you.  This is not an area to take lightly.

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Your volunteer On-site staff:

  • Event Manager -- Connie Lively
  • Trips Coordinator -- Vern Brown
  • Concierge -- Kent Slawson

What: A camping and kayaking trip overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Evening campfires and camaraderie. For 2018, paddle trips will occur on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and possibly on Thursday.

When: Thursday-Sunday, May 3-6, 2018

State Park Disclaimer: Please be aware that U.S. Navy jets from nearby Naval Air Station Whidbey Island may fly over the campground at any time for several hours. Navy personnel conduct training missions at various times during the day and night. Depending on the direction of the wind, their flight pattern may put them above the park, creating noisy conditions for campers. Although State Parks cannot be responsible for the jet noise, we do share visitor concerns with representatives of Naval Air Station Whidbey.

Trips: Level 2 through Level 4 trips on Puget Sound flatwater and tidal currents. Level 1 trips cannot be guaranteed and may not be offered. Some trips may require driving. All trip sign-ups will be done on-site unless otherwise announced.

Clothing on the water: A wet suit or dry suit is required; clothing requirements will follow the OOPS Cold Water Policy. Wet exit certification is required, unless you participate in only Level 1 trips (unlikely to be offered) in which you are not wearing a sprayskirt, as is compliance with all other OOPS safety policies. Bring layers and wind protection. Organizer will communicate requirements.

Meals and Gatherings: Bring your own food, stove etc., and plan on at least one potluck evening. Registrants will receive more information from the Event Concierge. Please do not bring firewood. Your event fee covers the cost of firewood that we will purchase locally. Please plan to join us for group campfires!

Accommodations and Cost: We have 11 sites at Bowman Bay Campground in Deception Pass State Park. Walk to the bay! Bathrooms with token-operated showers are nearby. Registration fees are found on the calendar. See detailed campground information below.

Parking: If you stay outside the park, you will need to purchase a day pass at the entrance booth to launch from sites within the park.

Driving time from Portland: About 5 hours.

How to sign up or get more info: Go to the OOPS website Calendar and click on Deception Pass.

Camping Details: We have 11 sites Bowman Bay Campground in Deception Pass State Park. All but one of these are tent sites. Water is nearby. We have one site only with electricity, and that electricity will be shared for people needing to charge cell phones. Check-in begins Thursday at 2:30 p.m. Check-out is at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Campsites will be shared. We have planned for approximately three-four people and 2 vehicles per site. When you register, you will have a chance to identify who you would like to share a campsite with, however, we may not be able to honor all requests.

What if you don’t know anybody to share a campsite with? This is your chance to meet some new paddle buddies! We are a friendly group! OOPS will assign the campsites based on your vehicle/equipment needs and the size of the campsites.

Your event registration fee for camping is for the complete event. This includes three nights of camping and additional vehicle fees. DO NOT pay the extra vehicle fee until you have visited your campsite or OOPS HQ and you are sure that you are the “extra” vehicle, not the first vehicle. The Event Manager will either pay for or refund any extra vehicle fees on site.

State Park firewood advice: “Please protect the Pacific Northwest from invasive species by getting your firewood at the campground, or close to it. Firewood can carry insects and diseases that threaten the health of our western forests. You can make a difference.”

General Information about Deception Pass State park:

Directions: FROM I-5 (BURLINGTON): Take exit 230, Hwy 20 West. Follow Hwy 20 as it turns South at a T-intersection on Fidalgo Island. Travel 6.5 miles to North entrance at Pass Lake (Bowman Bay and Rosario Beach areas). Main park entrance is 2 miles further South.

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