Paradise Road - Lopez Island

Lopez Island is rich with beautiful state parks and scenic, rugged coastline. Some of these unique spaces have been preserved through the San Juan County Land Bank. Following are some favorite destinations and a slideshow gallery to enjoy these natural landscapes.

Watmough Bay                                      The Spit                                            Chadwick Hill
Agate Beach                                            Weeks Wetland
Iceberg Point                                          The Tombolo
Shark Reef                                              Spencer Spit

Watmough Bay (map)

Watmough Bay is a small beach with an intimate feel. Accessed by a charming and easy 5-minute walk along a wide, level path through lush woods, the beach is a mix of sand and stones. Despite the level approach to the beach, the bay is sheltered on two sides by steep cliffs, and the water is calm and protected. This day-use site is maintained by the Bureau of Land Management, and has a basic pit toilet at the trailhead. Watmough Bay has been designated an Area of Critical Environmental Concern, and users are asked to comply with some basic guidelines. Camping, cycles and fires are prohibited, but dogs are allowed if leashed. Public use of the site is the result of a donation by the Oles Family to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), as well as the agency's later acquisition of part of the bay and its freshwater wetland. These combined efforts bring the total area maintained by the BLM to nearly 80 acres. Standard Leave No Trace principles apply in this very special area. Back to top

Directions: Head down Paradise Road and turn Left onto Vista Road (1.2 m).
At the T intersection take a right onto Mud Bay Road (2.4 m).
Turn right onto Aleck Bay Road (.5 m).
Stay straight as the road turns into Watmough Head Road (.1m).
Take the first left to continue on Watmough Head Road (.5 m).
Turn left at the sign for Watmough Bay (.1m).

Agate Beach (map)

Parking for these two beautiful beach sites is a small pull-off on the left-hand side of the road. A small island off shore at Agate Beach can be accessed on foot at low tide. Reach the beach by descending a flight of stairs, and take in the sweeping view of open water, neighboring islands, and the distant Olympic Peninsula. Despite its name, this site has been well combed by rock hunters--but with some well-focused attention, you might get lucky and find an agate of your own. Back to top

Iceberg Point (map)

This wind-swept hilltop walk brings you close to wild wide of Lopez Island. From the parking area at Agate Point, continue on foot .1 mile south by road to a sign identifying Bat and Ball Lane on your left. A long pole gate on the right marks the entry path to Iceberg Point. Turn right onto this lane, where an easy ten-minute walk brings you out of protective forest and into the coastal wilds of this wind-swept site. A reserve encompassing close to 80 acres, Iceberg Point features tall blowing grasses throughout the year and fields of delicate wildflowers in the spring. A mile and a half of established trails, maintained by the Bureau of Land Management, lead to a hillock topped by a white stone monument. This elevated destination offers the best view of the area: sweeping panoramas of the island's scenic coast, across nearby islands, and all the way across the straits to the snowcapped mountains of the Olympic Peninsula. Back to top

Directions: Head down Paradise Road and turn Left onto Vista Road (1.2 m). 
At the T intersection take a right onto Mud Bay Road (1.1 m).
Turn right on MacKaye Harbor Road and follow it until you reach the Agate Beach parking lot (1.7 m).

The Spit (map)

29 acres of meadows, wetlands,  shoreline and a scenic sandy spit connect the Puget Sound and Fisherman's Bay. The Spit is a part of the San Juan Land Bank preserved for its unique landscape and made available for public use is accessed by car, bike or foot along county roads. Back to top

Weeks Wetland (map)

Adjacent to Lopez Village on Fisherman Bay, this 24 acre saltwater wetland looks out over Fisherman's Bay and across The Spit toward the Puget Sound.  A rustic trail provides access to an observation deck overlooking the wetland where visitors may see migratory birds and wetland plants, learn about life in the wetlands from interpretive signs, and watch boats enter and exit Fisherman Bay.  Back to top

The Tombolo (map)

A tombolo is gravel or sand bar connecting a piece of land to an island. Lopez Island's tombolo connects an island to an island and its surrounding tidal flats and shoreline provide habitat for numerous wildlife, waterfowl and marine organisms. Back to top

Spencer Spit (map)

Spencer Spit State Park is a 138-acre marine and camping park situated on Lopez Island in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The park is named for the lagoon-enclosing sand spit on which it rests. The park has a reputation for excellent crabbing, clamming and "car-top boating." This is one of the few state parks in the San Juan Islands that is accessible by automobile. A sand spit encloses a saltchuck lagoon. Back to top

Shark Reef (map)

Just a short hike from the county road brings you to rugged shoreline and views across the San Juan Channel toward the Olympic Mountains. The park offers a variety of bird and marine life. Gray Whales are occasionally spotted off shore and seals are regular seen swimming throughout the reef. Back to top

Chadwick Hill (map)

Hike up to the 470-foot summit of Chadwick Hill, Lopez Island’s second highest peak, for some amazing views over Rosario Strait, then beachcomb at one of Lopez’s popular beaches located on Watmough Bay.  Back to top

  • Madison Park
  • Paradise Road
  • Sylvan Cove
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