No disrespect to anyone who enjoys marveling at feats of human engineering, as well as testing their own acrophobia, with a stroll across the steel arch and cantilevers that make up the two bridges — yes, there are two — spanning Deception Pass and its narrower sibling, Canoe Pass, some 180 feet above Pass Island, which anchors both bridges amid swirling waters.

But while Deception Pass Bridge makes for a compelling drive-by photo op, if you’ve made the journey, park your car and stay awhile. Here are seven ways to explore Deception Pass State Park this year, which marks the park’s 100th anniversary.

As Deception Pass turns 100, Washington’s most popular state park hopes to cultivate next generation of ‘dreams and memories’

Explore the Rosario Tide Pools

Head to the pools, check a tide chart, follow the yellow rope and explore the world that reveals itself at low tide: crabs, barnacles, sea stars and more.

Hike to Goose Rock

Leave the bridge crowds behind and hike up and around Goose Rock. The summit trail brings you up to the balds, bedrock scraped bare by receding glaciers 11,000 years ago that is now home to a thin layer of soil growing rare vegetation. Tread carefully, then take the Perimeter Trail around for views of Cornet Bay and Deception Pass.

Stay in a smuggler’s cabin

Ben Ure Island a short paddle away is home to a cabin that can be rented by the night from Washington State Parks at


Paddle a sea kayak

Hire a guide and rent a kayak from Anacortes Kayak Tours, which runs 90-minute family trips ($39/adults, $35/seniors and kids 12 and under) and steers clear of the turbulent waters in Deception Pass proper.

Take a jet boat tour

Eager to see the pass at water level? Deception Pass Tours runs jet boats every hour (from $38).

Hit the headlands

From Bowman Bay, both Lighthouse Point to the south and Rosario Head to the north offer short trails out to headlands with panoramic saltwater views and postcard-worthy sunsets.

Alternate freshwater and saltwater

A mere 100 feet separates Cranberry Lake from West Beach in Deception Pass State Park. Relax on the sandy shores, then splash around at the lake’s swimming beach to get a taste of both saltwater and freshwater.