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Camano Island State Park

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Stroll manicured trails weaving through blotchy-barked madronas and stately firs along coastal bluffs, with stunning views of lofty peaks that hover over sparkling waters. Camano Island State Park offers dramatic glimpses of a less developed Puget Sound-one where shorelines aren't marred by wall-to-wall houses and one that Captain George Vancouver would perhaps still recognize.

Begin on the Marsh Trail, which runs parallel to the large parking area and takes you to the main trailhead, located a short distance back on the access road. Along the way be sure to look for eagles perched on tall firs. At the main trailhead, study the posted map of the park's trail system. Your objective is to follow the Loop Trail, but feel free to divert onto interesting side trails at any time. The park is small, just under 140 acres, so don't worry about venturing too far off course.

Head up an attractive ravine shaded by mature maples and cloaked with waxy salal and boughs of ferns. Immediately come to a junction. Turn left. With the aid of steps, steeply but briefly climb out of the ravine. Come to another junction. You'll be returning on the left, so head right. Bear right at yet another junction and continue climbing, coming to the group camp area after about 0.2 mile. Go right, through the cabin camp area, and then pick up trail once more. Pass the amphitheater, weave through the campground, cross the main park road, and then parallel it south for a short distance, eventually heading back into the woods.

Now get ready to enjoy spectacular Puget Sound scenery. The trail turns left, hugging the rim of a 150-foot bluff rising above Elger Bay. Stop at numerous viewpoints to marvel straight down at Saratoga Passage's gleaming waters. Scope out familiar summits on the eastern horizon: Pilchuck, Baring, which others?

Continue along the bluff, soaking up scenery and sea breezes. The trail eventually turns landward, coming to another junction. Head right in thick forest along the park periphery. Reach a 300-foot high point before beginning a slow descent, dipping in and out of small ravines along the way. Pass some giant old-growth Doug-firs before coming to another junction. The trail left returns to the campground. Head right instead, dropping steeply.

Cross the park road, pass Roy's Trail on your left (an alternative return) and the Cama Beach Connector Trail on your right, and then follow the Loop Trail left along more high bluffs, back to the trailhead. Pause frequently to take in captivating views across the Sound of jagged Olympic Mountain peaks rising above Whidbey Island's chalky bluffs and emerald forests.
Driving Directions:

From exit 212 on I-5, travel west on State Route 532 for 5.5 miles to the town of Stanwood. Continue west on SR 532 for 4.5 miles to the junction of NE Camano and N Camano drives. Bear left onto NE Camano Drive and proceed for 3 miles, bearing left again onto SE Camano Drive. In 3.4 miles bear right onto S Elger Bay Road and continue for 1.9 miles, turning right onto Mountain View Road. In 1.7 miles turn left onto Lowell Point Road and follow this road 0.7 mile to Camano Island State Park. Proceed for 0.2 mile, turning left and following the park road (passing the camping area) for 1.1 mile to its end at a large day-use parking area (elev. sea level). Privy and water available.

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Recent Trip Reports

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There are 19 trip reports for this hike. See all trip reports for this hike.
Camano Island State Park, Cama Beach State Park — Apr 06, 2014 — explorerdogs
Day hike
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It was a terrific day to be up on Camano Island. A little overcast, but the sun kept peeking throug...
It was a terrific day to be up on Camano Island. A little overcast, but the sun kept peeking through and warming things up. We started just outside the Camano Island State Park and did the perimeter loop trail going clockwise. You start with a nice walk through the forest before coming to the bluff and walking among the wonderful madrona trees and getting your first views of the sound. Then it was down to the beach for a wonderful walk in the sand to the north picnic area and back up to the parking area outside the gate.
We then walked the Cross Island Trail to Cama Beach State Park where we were able to sit on the logs and enjoy lunch with a view without getting cold or wet. After a little beach play time it was back up the hill, across the road for a quick trip to Cranberry Lake before heading back to our cars, for a total round trip mileage of about 7 miles.
A great day to be out, the trails are in great condition. A few muddy areas but after the rain we have been having it seemed minimal. Spotted a few bald eagles sitting in the trees keeping an eye on things too.
Love these island hikes.
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Camano Island State Park — Feb 17, 2014 — geezerhiker
Day hike
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A hike at the park is better than a day at home. I hiked the Loop, Canyon, Marsh, and Beach trails....
A hike at the park is better than a day at home. I hiked the Loop, Canyon, Marsh, and Beach trails. There are ducks at the marsh. It was sunny when I started, and raining when I finished. I was prepared for the rain, so it was not a problem.

The trails are in good condition. There were a few other folks out and about at the park.
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Camano Island State Park, Kayak Point Park — Jan 03, 2014 — MyOwnDamnedEve
Day hike
Issues: Mudholes | Road to trailhead inaccessible
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Kayak Point: The actual trail itself included stairs, and steep inclines/declines that appeared to b...
Kayak Point: The actual trail itself included stairs, and steep inclines/declines that appeared to be in disrepair. We could not access the trail, itself, so we opted to walk through the park, beach and pier areas. Very nice walk, easy terrain, I recommend that you dress warmly if you plan to be there long, or to spend much time on the pier,as the wind is bitingly cold. We did see quite a few types of duck, geese and seagull, as well as one seal from, or around the pier. The only two adverse conditions that I listed in this report, were specifically for Kayak Point's inaccessible trail, itself.

Camano Island State Park: Scenic drive to a very nice beginners/easy hike. We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening there, finishing our trip by watching a beautiful sunset over Whidbey Island. The terrain is wet, rocky, uneven shoreline, once you reach the bottom of the semi-well kept staircase, but not difficult to cross. We walked the entire length of the visible beach in a relatively quick time frame. The photo opportunities here, and at Kayak Point were very good, I would recommend both locations, and look forward to Kayak Point re-opening their actual trail. We did not have any children or pets with us, but saw many people escorting both. We started at Kayak Point & finished at Camano Island, I have attempted to locate both trail heads on the map below.

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Camano Island State Park — Nov 06, 2013 — geezerhiker
Day hike
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There was some sun on the island, so I hiked the Howard Adams Forest Loop Trail at the State Park. ...
There was some sun on the island, so I hiked the Howard Adams Forest Loop Trail at the State Park. The trail is clear except for two easily-cleared dead falls.

The fall colors are fading, the leaves are falling, and the mushrooms on the ground are deteriorating. But the fungi on trees, both living and downed, are thriving.

There were no other hikers on the trail today. Too bad, because it was a nice, cool day with some sunshine.

More photos below.
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Camano Island State Park — Jun 08, 2013 — ChihuahuaHiker
Day hike
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The wife and I took the West Rim South Beach loop trail with our two Chihuahuas. We parked at the da...
The wife and I took the West Rim South Beach loop trail with our two Chihuahuas. We parked at the day area and walked up to the trail head. This hike was short and pleasurable. We were not looking for a grooling ten mile hike this weekend. As I said before it was simple and fun. It starts right off on the edge of the coast. You can see the water and beach the entire hike. There are a few little hills, but nothing to write home to mom about. Once you get to the end you can take stairs down to the boat launch area or you can go up, up, up and away to the tent camping sites. We chose to go up and check out the campground. The stairs going up are steep, but not too long.

We walked around the camp site and saw a brown bunny, which made my wife freak out. If she could catch it she would have taken it home. Once we made our way around the sites we took a trail downwards that dropped us right back to the original trail we started on. Had a nice hike back to the car and off we went.
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Camano Island SP horiz Alan Bauer sm.jpg
Camano Island State Park. Photo copyright Alan Bauer.
Location
Puget Sound and Islands -- North Sound
Camano Island State Park
Statistics
Roundtrip 2.5 miles
Elevation Gain 200 ft
Highest Point 200 ft
Features
Coast
User info
Good for kids
Dogs allowed on leash
Discover Pass required
Guidebooks & Maps
Central Cascdes
USGS Juniper Beach

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Note: the description and driving directions for this Mountaineers Books entry are copyrighted and can't be changed.

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