Hiking · Local Adventures

Local Adventures: Rosario Head

The last time I had been to Rosario Beach on Fidalgo Island I was maybe 16 or 17 and I was nearly swept out into the open water in a 2 man inflatable boat with my friend and 1 working oar. So somehow I never saw any reason to return till the boys were begging to go see the tide pools the beach is renowned for. On a whim and a sunny day we loaded up for the drive, picked up a picnic, and headed to Deception Pass State Park.

See here for a map of the park, and the multiple islands it covers.

Once you arrive and park, head out on the paved path from the lot, through the picnic areas, to the overlook of the bay below you (it is part of the large Bowman Bay), and then to your right the cove that makes up the tide pool beach. It’s “sand” is made of tiny rocks. Be sure to wear shoes here.

Looking out into the open water from the tide pools.

There are paths marked across it with yellow rope, on the ground.

It is a popular beach to visit, but nowhere as crowded as other parts of Deception Pass Park, due to how far back the area is.

Walker and Alistaire checking out the pools.


A Sitka Spruce cone.

Hey kids, right behind you is where your mother almost got sucked out into the water……

The Maiden of Deception Pass carving and story boards. Don’t miss it. The boys were enthralled with it.

Behind it starts the trails up to Rosario Head. All go uphill. Choose your punishment. We took the trail to the left, which has side trails, then shoots straight up an airless forest to the top.

Walker on top, on the rocky bald.

The view is the Olympic Mountains, and Whidbey Island across the pass. It was a flying day at NAS Whidbey, so we watched a number of jets go over.

Pano of Bowman Bay and Whidbey Island.

On the way back we drove down to the museum of the CCC, at Bowman Bay. It’s not open often. Last time I was here was 30 years ago. My paternal Grandfather was in the CCC in the Great Depression. My Dad had taken me to the museum as a teen.

Walker asked me why the statue was not life size. Had to break it to him that in the 1930’s a lot of men were that compact. He was shocked.

Two happy boys. A hike and tide pool exploring plus eating picnic leftovers, not much more to ask for!

Deception Pass requires a Discover Pass to park. $30 a year. Can buy on site or pay a day use fee instead. Go on weekdays for less people.


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