VIKING TRAVEL: DECEPTION PASS
Don’t look down.
On second thought, look down. Definitely look down 180 feet to the swirling blue water below and prepare to have your breath taken away. Now, look across at the quarter-mile of steel bridge connecting Whidbey Island to Fidalgo Island.
Next, go underneath and explore the flowered slopes lining the strait or the beach covered in driftwood and unique rocks. Hop on a boat and experience the rushing currents and marine life, including birds, seals, orcas and dolphins.
One of the special activities I did on my trip to the Pass was with Deception Pass Tours. I joined a medium-sized boat with about 10 other sightseers and two tour guides who taught us about the history of Deception Pass and the wildlife in the area. I learned a lot of interesting history and saw some great views. The cost for a 50 minute boat ride was $38.95 each, and I think a more accurate cost would be about half of that.
There’s something about sunny, forested campgrounds that make me feel like a kid again. One night, I camped at the Deception Pass State Park, which sits right between Cranberry Lake and the beach facing the bridge, a must-go for sunset hikes.
In the morning, I suggest walking along the well-kept beach by Cranberry Lake. There are cemented pathways that wind through tall grass, in addition to the shore. I brought a football and walked and played catch along the shore.
On the bridge, walk the full length if you aren’t too afraid of heights. I’m not, but the one-chain fence separating a tiny pathway from the two-lane road didn’t feel very safe.
The beach at the bottom of the state park facing the bridge is a must-see. The park has 77,000 feet of shoreline and is a great place for looking at cool rocks, picnicking and laying out in the sun. The park requires a Discover Pass, and there are pay stations to buy a one-day pass.
The hours of the state park are 6:30 a.m. to dusk in the summer and 8 a.m. to dusk in winter. The park also holds three lakes, old-growth forests and dunes. It also includes 38 miles of hiking trails, six miles of horse trails and three miles of bike trails. The next time I go, I’m definitely bringing my bike for the trails and also checking out the hikes.