San Juan County
Farming, fishing, bicycling, and boating are popular activities on Lopez Island (population 1,500). Agate Beach County Park, at Outer Bay, is a great place to see cormorants and puffins. Spencer Spit State Park is frequented by great blue herons, geese, kingfishers, rabbits, deer, and raccoons.
Lopez residents are some of the friendliest in the San Juan Islands. Whether you're on a bike or in a car, you'll learn to wave at everyone who extends a greeting. Unfortunately, the island's innkeepers aren't as welcoming to our canine friends; there are 60 guest rooms here, but dogs are not permitted in any of them. So to spend more than a day here, you'll have to camp with Fido.
Parks, Beaches and Recreation Areas
Agate Beach County Park
Located on the southwest tip of Lopez Island, Agate's beach is very rocky. Campsites are $14 per night for car campers and $4 nightly for hikers, bikers, and kayakers. Leash your pooch.
To reach the park, drive south from the ferry dock on Ferry Road. Proceed on Ferry Road until you reach Lopez Sound Road. Turn left (east) on Lopez Sound Road, then turn right (south) on Mud Bay Road. At Mac Kaye Harbor Road, turn right (south) and continue to the park. (360) 378-8420.
Odlin County Park
This park has 30 campsites on 80 wooded acres. There aren't many sandy beaches in the Northwest, but this park offers a mile of sandy shoreline. You can swim in the chilly water if you dare. Odlin County Park also offers a pier, float, mooring buoys, ballparks, and a covered cook shack. Dogs must be leashed and attended at all times.
From the ferry landing, take Ferry Road one mile south to the park. (360) 378-2992.
Shark Reef Park
Shark Reef's wild ground, a parcel of Department of Natural Resources land, includes a forest that ends at a scenic promontory. Hundreds of seals hang out on the big rocks offshore (your pooch will thrill to barks of a different sort). From the Lopez Island Airport, drive nearly two miles on Shark Reef Road to the park. (360) 8563500 or (800) 527-3305.
Spencer Spit State Park
Twenty-five vehicle-accessible campsites, 10 walk-in sites, 2 group camps, and a mile of sandy beach are available at this 129-acre park. The campsite fee is $11 per night and reservations are recommended. Showers are not available. Leashes are required, and rangers patrol on mountain bikes to enforce this regulation.
From the ferry landing, drive south on Ferry Road for just over one mile. Turn left (east) on Port Stanley Road and continue for nearly two miles, around Swifts Bay, to the park. (360) 468-2251.
Places to Stay
Agate Beach County Park camping: See above.
Odlin County Park camping: See above.
Spencer Spit State Park camping: See above.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication