The Travel Journal Logo

orcas island
San Juan Islands, Washington
A Trip to Orcas Island
We took the Washington State ferry to Orcas Island for a long weekend of hiking but the three days were filled with experiences and activities that make it impossible to simply describe the hikes.
The foresight and efforts of a millionaire retired to the island from Seattle resulted in the preservation of a large area of land on Orcas Island. Now one of the Washington State parks, Moran State Park is by far the largest publicly accessible tract of land in the San Juan Islands. We chose Orcas Island with the intent of hiking some of the many miles of trails.
A Deer at The Watchtower

Mt. Constitution, in Moran State Park is the home of an expert moocher in the form of a buck deer whose fondness for Doritos and crispy vegetables among other tourist supplied treats led him to confidently approach visitors to the top of the mountain completely fearlessly and with such charm that he was often successful in getting them.

Steve and I don't feed wild animals but we were both approached and solicited by him and had the fun of having our clothes sniffed and nibbled by an animal that would normally flee if we were nearby.

deer soliciting treats

Near the old watchtower we watched as an elegant woman dressed in her traditional Moslem attire with her young son peeking out from behind her reached out and petted the deer and Steve took a photograph.


Hiking Mount Pickett
We came to Orcas Island to hike. One day we hiked nine miles including the waterfalls and a little used trail up Mount Pickett in Moran State Park. It was steep and relentless.
It was a personal achievement for me to climb it and a little bit more satisfying to see Steve actually sweat. When we rounded a corner and were confronted with yet another steep incline, I swore and started to turn around. Steve looked at me with kind eyes, and said "Ain't nothing" as he had learned in Ranger school and I knew that it wasn't and I went up that mountain.

When Steve took my photo by the sign that marked the top of Mount Pickett, I was very proud but my legs felt like spaghetti and I was ready to head back and try some more of the delicious island cooking

Island Cuisine and Island Time
Food and the enjoyment of life are the obsessions of the islanders. Island cuisine, I've heard it called. The freshest locally grown ingredients are prepared with sophistication and flair and served in local restaurants. We sampled the unforgettable pies at the Olga Cafe, and watched as island culture clashed with the driven pace that some visitors insist on maintaining, and ended with the bountiful Friday evening buffet at Rosario Resort.
Water, water, water everywhere silvery under the sunset, deepest blue in the sunshine, grey under the clouds, green in the lakes, crystal clear in the brooks and streams. A deep sense of history prevades the island. The old trees and the rocky ground have been witness to a long human occupation with the Haida massacre of the Lummi in West Sound marking the end of the Lummi living on the island, but not the end of their presence, which continues even now.
by Dianne Bengtson
photography by Steve Robertson

Fees and Charges:

Orcas Island access is by ferry, boat or plane

1) Washington State Ferry schedule, San Juan Islands, Fares for vehicle and passengers

2) Kenmore Air fares

Beach Batteries, Seaview, WA


Official Site



Ability Multimedia - Seattle Web Design
Copyright © 2012 USA, Ability Multimedia