The Deception Pass Headlands, part of Deception Pass State park, includes Lighthouse and Lottie points, and Rosario Head. With views of Deception Pass Bridge from Lighthouse and Lottie, and the San Juan Islands from Rosario Head—no matter which trail you take, the views are breathtaking.
From the Interpretive Center, it's just a few steps out onto the beach. One of the best things about Deception Pass Headlands is that there isn't really a specific trail to follow—many paths are simply loops, some with smaller off-shoots leading to secluded beaches and bluff-overlooks. We chose to head left towards Lottie and Lighthouse points. Lottie, the shorter of the two loops, is closest to the bridge. We only hiked out to Lighthouse Point—which is unfortunately sans-Lighthouse. The most difficult part of these trails is the small incline up through old growth forests. Luckily, the trails here are wide, well maintained, and the highest point is only 110 ft. Lighthouse Point is heavily forested on its northern side, facing Bowman Bay, but the southern end is grassy rolling slopes with gorgeous views of Deception Pass.
After cooling down in the sea breeze, we continued on the Lighthouse Loop back to the beach at Bowman Bay. From there, we headed towards Rosario head. The north side of the beach hosts rocky tidepools, home to Pacific Northwest critters like sea-anemone and starfish. On Rosario Head, it's hard not to admire the large cedar carving depicting Ko-kwal-alwoot, logged from the Baker Lake area. Also, take a few minutes to read through the Legend of the Maiden of Deception Pass, a traditional myth of the Samish tribe, the first people to make Deception Pass Headlands their home. Before you get much farther on the trail, you'll most likely notice a “Caution” sign. Don't be too alarmed—the trail itself isn't any more treacherous. The sign is alerting you to the sheer cliffs, which plunge right into Rosario Strait. However, as long as you leave a safe distance between yourself and the edge, these cliffs are an amazing backdrop to the Salish Sea, San Juans, and the shadows of the Olympic Mountain range.
As always, trail-reports can be found through WTA at:
For more information on the CCC, check out:
A great article about The Maiden of Deception Pass totem and artist Tracy Powell can be found here: