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Question for travel to San Juan Island

Shanghai, China
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Question for travel to San Juan Island

Hi, I plan to take a day trip to San Juan Island on Oct 3 or 4, since it is the first time for me to visit WA, there are some questions need you guys help

 If I want to take the 9:30 Ferry from Anacortes to Friday Harbor, when should arrive at the Anacortes terminal? 9:00AM? 8:30AM or much earlier? BTW, I will drive a car…

 I plan to take the 18:25PM ferry from Friday Harbor back to Anacortes, when should arrive at the Friday Harbor terminal?

 If everything is smooth, I will arrive at Friday harbor at 10:35AM, what’s route is recommended to take the trip in the Island? 7 hours is enough or not? Can I have a round trip for the whole Island? The worst case is to take the 19:45PM Ferry back to Anacortes

Thanks …

Friday Harbor...
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1. Re: Question for travel to San Juan Island

As it's past the busy time of the year in SJ county tourist traffic drops off significantly insofar as ferry travel.As to coming from Anacortes at 9:30am on a Thursday or Friday morning arriving at the terminal at least 30 minutes in advance may well be fine as that's a direct ferry that only boards traffic to Friday Harbor (San Juan island), although so as not to be concerned about your first ferry trip you might want to get there an hour in advance. Here is information in detail about the Anacortes ferry terminal and how to get to the ferry landing in Anacortes if you have a car as well as webcams showing you the current car holding lot …wa.gov/ferries/… At the Anacortes ferry landing you'll find enough to do around the rurally located terminal while you wait for your ferry. Grassy trails lead down to the nearby beach and through the shoreline wetlands. You can get something at the small gift shop, buy drinks and snacks, walk your dog in the dog-walk area and on the beach, relax at a picnic table, or go online using the terminal's wireless Internet service (which has a fee). Or you could do it the Islanders way and spend the time talking together outside, playing cards, engaging in ball games with the dogs, reading or napping. Leaving FH on 6:25pm ferry should be pretty low for car traffic, but one should always get to the ferry landing for ferries to/from the mainland IMO at least 30 minutes before just so you don't feel concerned. Lots to do in town if you park your car in the ferry lanes early.

Here is a detailed general article on the Islands tripadvisor.com/Travel-g58727-c102104/San-Ju… and also you can find out a lot about the islands including all there is to do here at the many parks and check for lodging vacancies on the dates you will be coming at the San Juan Visitor Bureau web site: http://www.visitsanjuans.com/ And here is a calendar of events for San Juan: http://www.sanjuancalendar.com/

As to whether 7 hours is enough on SJI it depends on how much outdoor activity you are interested in I would think. Many people would say that's enough time as you'll be able to see some of the town and visit some of the other places on the island like Roche Harbor and have time for a nice long walk at one of the parks. Friday Harbor has many small attractive gift & boutique shops, a wide variety of restaurants, a movie theater, 3 museums, 3 book stores, art galleries, a bowling alley, and neither fast food chains nor traffic lights. There is a nice marina that you can walk through right in town which is busy in the summer and holds many large yachts and sailing boats, and some commercial fishing boats...it's really pleasant walking around there for those who enjoy looking at the boats (and you may well see a heron or two at night). Often you can see a seal hanging around the floating fresh fish market on the docks. The Whale museum in Friday Harbor has plenty of interactive exhibits and even a full size whale skeleton. Info on that is at whalemuseum.org/museum/details/gallery.html

The trail to Young Hill at English Camp Park, is a satisfying hike with a 700-foot summit elevation but it's all in the shade so most everyone can handle this trail. The sweeping views from the rocky look-outs up there are well worth the efforts to get there. To the east is a territorial view of San Juan, with Cady Mountain and hundreds of acres of forested Roche Harbor company lands. Immediately below is Westcott Bay, and out across Haro Strait are the Canadian Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island to the west. You can find the official trail map for that at nps.gov/sajh/…202005.pdf . Near the historic buildings at the main part of the park you'll also find Bell Point Trail. That one is mostly level terrain and runs close to the quiet bay.

Over at American Camp Park there are numerous trails, one of the longest of which is Jakle's Lagoon/Mt Finlayson. This gentle rolling path leads up from the parking area and runs along the bluff over the south end of the Island. Walking along, you can see the miles long stretch of South beach, and further to the south is the lighthouse at Cattle Point while in the distance the Olympic Mountains loom over the Salish Sea. You can find the official trail map for that at nps.gov/sajh/…jakleslagoon_2005.pdf

Shanghai, China
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2. Re: Question for travel to San Juan Island

thank you very much!! there is a Ferry to SJI on 8:30 AM, but it is noted that "Priority for Sidney, BC vehicles ticketed and in line no later than 8:00 a.m", do you think it makes sense that i take this Ferry and in line before 8:00 AM to make sure i can take this one to go ot SJI. thanks

Friday Harbor...
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3. Re: Question for travel to San Juan Island

IMO I would just take the 9:30 ferry you mentioned earlier. That's what we who live on SJI usually do, avoid using the international ferry when just traveling between the SJ island and Anacortes. The reason is it almost always takes one more time to deal with that ferry to BC that stops in FH because as a ferry that crosses the border they still make the passengers coming/going just from FH to Anacortes go through Homeland Security checks when debarking. Why no one knows as it is not possible for anyone on the boat from A to FH to have been in Canada from this ferry leaving from A but the US government still as far as we have ever encountered made everyone getting off in FH be questioned by Homeland security. That delays things and it might well extend that delay for people who are not US citizens but traveling on other passports.

Shanghai, China
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4. Re: Question for travel to San Juan Island

thank you very much, I can not wait to be there... the bad news is the government shutting down, will it impact the SJI visit? I guess the American Camp and English Camp NP will shut down, am I right? and the rest of the SJI will run well as normal, right? God bless....

Friday Harbor...
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5. Re: Question for travel to San Juan Island

Well, I'm in Mexico now where I have been for about a month so I can't say 100% sure from 'on the ground' but I do know there has been nothing at all in any of the 4 local San Juan County newspapers or online news sources that say the local SJ National Parks will be affected. Most of the time there is no one at all at English Camp (park rangers or staff I mean)....only in the summer for very limited hours and days is there anyone there. American Camp does have a ranger station which is only open some days/times. That building may be closed. But I don't think anything will affected any of the trails at the parks. There are too many entrances, trails, beaches and only a handful of staff, even in the summer. We will be returning home in two days and we'll be taking our dogs out then to American Camp as we do most days when home and I don't expect the trails to be affected.

There is also a large State Park on SJ too that has more limited trails, but still nice ones and also the most scenic lighthouse on the ferry served islands.....it's called Limekiln State Park. Info on that park and its trails is at www.parks.wa.gov/parks/… Enjoy your trip.

Shanghai, China
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6. Re: Question for travel to San Juan Island

Got you, thank you very much, have nice days in Mexico!

7. Re: Question for travel to San Juan Island

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