Distance: Hikers can walk the paved 2.2 mile loop road around the park, but you’ll have a more scenic trip if you venture out onto the trails and paths.
Elevation Gain: Up to 260 feet.
Description: Washington Park sits on a peninsula that juts into the Salish Sea. Wonderful views of the San Juans to the north and Vancouver Island (and sunsets) to the east can be seen from various points along the park. The paved one-way road winds through the mature forest, and is closed to car traffic in the mornings until 10am. After that you’ll want to stick to the trails that parallel the road, and the paths that head out closer to the water. Madrona forests and rock outcrops provide interesting habitats, and you’ll find several benches on which to rest and take in the view. Some of the trails are steep and rugged, and you’ll need to watch children carefully near the edges of the rock outcroppings. The park is open from 6 am until dusk, and is open to car traffic from 10am until dusk. There is a campground for tent camping and RVs, a boat launch, a playground, and restrooms with showers.
Directions: From I-5 take Exit 230 for Hwy 20 westbound toward Anacortes. When you reach the traffic circle at Commercial Ave, turn right and head into downtown Anacortes. Watch for signs for the ferry; take a left on 12th and continue on Hwy 20. Where the road turns off for the San Juan Ferry, continue straight on Sunset Ave. and drive into Washington Park. Park near the restrooms. No parking passes are needed. The park is open year-round from 6am to 10pm. The loop road is open to foot traffic from 6am to dusk; cars are allowed after 10am.
Links: Read more about the park, including info about the campground, at the Anacortes Parks and Rec. website. Download a map here, or pick up a free paper copy at the Visitor Center downtown. Some trails are also found on Green Trails Map No 41S Deception Pass/ACFL. If you’re interested in the geology of the area, check out Dave Tucker’s informative website entry about the park.