Obstruction Pass State Park: Our Bright and Sunny Gem on Orcas Island

Moran State Park on Orcas Island seems to get all the attention, as well it should, from visitors and locals alike.  However, there’s another little park on the island that is worth a stop, and would also be an amazing place to set up camp for a few days.

Obstruction Pass State Park Sign

Obstruction Pass State Park is located on the South end of the island, South of Moran State Park and the town of Olga.  If you don’t have a lot of time, it’s a great place to take in much of the island’s natural beauty in one small package.  After a quick hike on it’s forested trail with moss covered trees like Douglas Fir, Cedars and Hemlocks, we reached the camp site area and dreamed about which spot we would choose.

Trees Obstruction Pass State Park

Then we walked down some stairs and arrived at the beach! I’m so glad we saved this visit for the one sunny day we had in our week long stay.  Once we hit the sand, we were actually hot all bundled up in sweaters, jackets, and hats.

Beach Trail Obstruction Pass State Park

The park is one of just a few places with public beach access on Orcas Island, and Bergen was more than happy to get out of the carrier and do some beachcombing.

Obstruction State Pass Beach

Beachcombing Obstruction Pass State Park

From the beach, we looked out on Obstruction Pass with Obstruction Island and the Salish Sea in the distance.

View Obstruction Pass State Park

Info to Know: 

  • Obstruction Pass State Park is located on the Southeast side of Orcas Island.  Orcas Island is part of the San Juan Islands, an amazing group of islands in Washington State. 
    • Hours: Winter- 8 am to dusk, Summer-6:30 am to dusk
    • Open year-round for camping
  • Fee: $10 day-use fee or “free” with Discover Pass (Annual Washington State Park Pass)
  • If you aren’t visiting in the dead of winter like we were, head to the near by Olga Cafe for a great meal!

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    • Daisy says

      We spent the afternoon trying to find acess to the beach but never did. We found the trails VERY poorly marked. We hiked all 3 of them and finally gave up. We even drove to the marina and found a couple of locals who weren’t any more help.

      • says

        What a bummer! So sorry, Daisy. We found access down some stairs near the campsite area. It’s possible things have changes a bit as we were there nearly 9 months ago. With this being such a small state park close to Moran, it may get the short end of the stick in terms of maintenance. What else did you get into on Orcas? We can’t wait to go back.

  1. says

    I’m so glad to know that the park has beach access – I grew up on Orcas, and whenever I go back to visit I want to go to a beach, but it’s hard to find public access. THANKS for the post!

    • says

      Wow–what an experience to grow up on Orcas! I bet you have so many stories to tell. We spent a week here in January, and tried to do as much as we could. It was such a refreshing and rejuvenating time. Obstruction Pass is not to miss!

    • says

      Absolutely–but it was definitely a hard balance of just wanted to “be” & experience everything & wanting to document, document, document!

    • says

      Yes! These were of course found throughout the island thanks to our lovely Western Washington weather/climate–some parts were literally blanketed. Gorgeous.

  2. says

    Hi! I’m headed to this campground/park next week with a couple of girlfriends, 5 kids and zero daddies… Thinking logistics and wondered if you’d consider the trail to the campsites jogging stroller friendly? If it were a “real” hike I’d plan on my Kelty kid pack for my toddler, but since it’s so short I thought I might let her walk (freeing up my back for gear) or even possibly bring the jogging stroller (which would make carrying water for myself and 3 kids much less daunting). Of course with the parking lot so near, I suppose I could just do daily treks to the car for water/supplies. Any insight you have would be great :-)

    • Kate says

      What a fun adventure, Magi! Sounds amazing. Would love to camp at Obstruction Pass someday. From what I recall (and I could be wrong or I could be updated since it’s been about 4 years), the trail to the campsites is not jogging stroller friendly. I’m fairly certain that I carried Bergen (18 months at the time) in the ergo. But like you said, the sites aren’t too terribly far from the parking lot, so if you needed to make a couple trips and tag-team with your friends, that’s definitely possible. Hope that helps–so I can’t be completely certain!


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