Overview: Looking for a safe harbor? Smooth waters? So was Captain James Vancouver in June of 1798. So he sent Ship’s Master Joseph... more » Whidbey with a crew in a small boat around the northeastern tip of what was later named Whidbey Island to search for the inner waterway to Port Gardener. Deceived as to the nature of this passage, he wrote on his chart “Deception Pass,” and the name stuck.
Today the pass is a beautiful and exotic passage for all manner of water craft as they make their way from the many marinas along the island coast to the larger waters of Puget Sound. Whether its flood tide, ebb tide, or slack tide, you can locate yourself on one of the primary viewing points of the passage and ponder the interaction of the skipper, the ship and the sea.
To reach Deception Pass by land drive west/south on Hwy 20 from I-5, or north from Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island. Coming from the south you’ll see a sign for Deception Pass State Park. Turn left into the park and follow the signs to Little North Beach …. After you’ve spent some time on the beach watching the currents and tide, head back out to the main road and continue north. Just across the main bridge, you’ll encounter a parking area on the right. This is Canoe Island. From here you can walk across either bridge, or you can explore the island under the main bridge and down into the passage. Further north, on the mainland side of the bridge is another parking area with another fantastic view of the passage. less «