Camping in the Northwest - From a family who thought they'd share notes
Deception Pass State Park
 
Reservations through Washington State Parks.
 
Deception Pass State Park is a 4,134-acre marine and camping park with 77,000 feet of saltwater shoreline, and 33,900 feet of freshwater shoreline on three lakes. Rugged cliffs drop to meet the turbulent waters of Deception Pass. The park is outstanding for breath-taking views, old-growth forests and abundant wildlife.
 
Overall.
The location of this park is ideal as it is easy to get to, in a beautiful area and on the Puget Sound. Deception Pass State Park is a 4,134-acre marine and camping park with 77,000 feet of saltwater shoreline, and 33,900 feet of freshwater shoreline on three lakes.
 
Campsite.
We stayed in campsites 41 and 44 and remember that they were in a very high traffic part of the park.  There is one big loop (one way) that gets you in and through the majority of the utility campsites.  Our sites were right off this main road going through.  There is a more secluded section of the campground down toward the beach a bit more that wouldn't have this challenge.
 
Pretty tight campsites -- room for your trailer, a picnic table, and fire pit.  Not much room for the kids to play and with being right by the road there wasn't room there either.
 
Campground.
The park has 167 tent sites, 143 utility spaces, five hiker/biker sites, two dump stations, 20 restrooms, and ten showers.
 
Camping is at three locations in the park; 18 tent sites and two utility sites are at Bowman Bay, two tent sites and 58 utility sites at Sunrise Resort and 147 tent sites and 83 utility sites are at Cranberry Lake. Maximum site length is 60 feet (may have limited availability).
 
Group Accommodations:
There are three group camps, all primitive in nature.
 
Group camp 1 accommodates up to 50 people. It has fire circle, picnic shelter, vault toilet and five tent pads. It provides two adirondack (three-sided) sleeping shelters that combined sleep 16 people.
 
Group camp 2 accommodates 25 people. It has fire circle, picnic shelter, five picnic tables, and vault toilet. It provides one adirondack shelter that sleeps eight.
 
Group camp 3 has the same facilities and capacities as group camp 2 with the exception of the picnic shelter.
 
There seem to be a number of activities in the campground according to the Washington State Parks website -- hiking and biking trails, boating, docks, fishing.  Even a playground.  We didn't visit long enough to locate any of these amenities. 
 
Beach.
Definitely the highlight of the park..... beautiful beach, right there on the Puget Sound.  This beach is open to the public and there is a lot of activity -- but it is very large with enough room for everyone.   The beach is made up of driftwood, big rocks, and some sand. 
 
Great beach for kite flying on the right day.
 
Nice pathway down to the Beach from the campground. 
 
Vicinity.
The town of Oak Harbor is a short distance away (approx. 30 minutes) - which has all essentials you would need. 
 
Bikes or No Bikes?
With the high traffic of the limited roads, I would recommend no bikes if you just want some family bike rides amongst the camping spots.  If you want to go out and explore the vicinity, and go over Deception Pass -- definitely pack along the bikes!!
 
Misc.
  • The park rangers were very strict with the Quiet Hours.  4 adults listening to background music while playing cards out on the picnic table by the fire were told two times between 10 and 11 to keep the noise down.  Pretty excessive.
  • This note is on the Washington State Parks website about this park:  Please note: U.S. Navy jets from nearby Naval Air Station Whidbey Island may fly over the campground at any time for several hours. Navy personnel conduct training missions which are not announced ahead of time. Depending on the direction of the wind, their flight pattern may put them above the park, creating noisy conditions for campers. State Parks cannot be responsible for this significant intrusion into your camping experience.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Deception Pass State Park
41020 State Route 20
Oak Harbor, WA 98277
360-675-2417
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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