Deception Pass State Park: Bowman Bay to Rosario Head / 詭計關口

  • Reading time:13 mins read

Deception Pass State Park spans Fidalgo Island and Whidbey Island. Bowman Bay and Rosario Head rest inside the former west of Bowman Hill. Then inside the latter are Goose Rock and North Beach, south of Pass Island.

Deception Pass Island from Bowman Bay
Deception Pass State Park: Bowman Bay

See more trip photos here.

Deception Pass State Park at a Glance

Access: Bowman Bay (official park map)
Round Trip: 10 miles
Elevation Range: 0′-484′
Gear: none
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

The Preface

The overnight snowstorms caused several spin-outs over Snoqualmie Pass. I didn’t want to deal with the mess and went north to Deception Pass. As I wrote this post later, closures over mountain passes continued.

The 80% chance of rain across the west lowered to 50% for northern Puget Sound before dawn. With good weather ahead, I decided to go through with the plan to Deception Pass State Park. But it was still raining en route to Fidalgo Island.

Full coverage
Bowman Bay

See more trip photos here.

Deception Pass State Park Loop Hike

Drizzles stopped when we drove past Marysville. Hooray! We arrived at the Bowman boat launch before 10 with another car in the lot. Despite a late start, it was possible to visit most, if not all, points of interest by sundown.

Looping through the park last time was a terrific way to join the places we have visited separately. But this time, we left out the Pass Lake loop. Instead, we took a side trip to West Beach and the inlet of Lottie Bay.

The bridge revealed
The bridge revealed

See more trip photos here.

A Slow Start from Bowman Bay

Getting Mr. Connor to walk was almost as hard as asking him to drop small rocks from his mouth. He soon started moving as Mr. Cody sniffed around. Eventually, he followed us to the top of the first hill, a .25-mile victory!

Glad Mr. Connor was ready for me to carry him, and we soon went over the barrier onto Highway 20. The roadwork had fenced off parts of the shoulder for pedestrians. But the call buttons’ location was terrible and invisible to the bridge traffic.

Taking his sweet time
Taking his sweet time

See more trip photos here.

Deception Pass State Park: Deception Pass Bridge

We walked over to the other side and soon moved southbound through Pass Island. Compared with the last time, today’s wind was much calmer. But I’d rather have that than the constant vibration beneath our feet.

I glanced over at Bowman Hill. “We should check it out next time,” I thought. Going through the narrow walkway was nerve-racking as the oncoming traffic approached us. One best not to topple over through here!

Narrow pathway
Narrow pathway

See more trip photos here.

Goose Rock Summit

I wanted to see the rest of the Goose Rock Perimeter Trail, part of the Pacific Northwest Trail. So we walked to the east end and passed a group of hikers as they exited. Instead of taking the summit trail, we went straight up by scrambling northwest through the thin brush.

The terrain flattened at 400′, where I let Mr. Connor out of my pack to exercise. He’s been my training weight for all our trips but was happy to explore his way to the top. Soon, hazy views and loud crashing waves led to rain.

West view on Goose Rock
West view on Goose Rock

See more trip photos here.

Onward to North Bean and West Point

I greeted another hiker before waiting out the rain under the trees. Once drizzled, we left the top right away. We hiked west while checking out views through the clearings. The park had closed a tiny portion of the North Beach Trail with fallen rocks and small down trees.

I planned to hike the trail from West Point, but the gusts made it unbearable. Instead, we hung out by the logs for a quick minute before turning around. I saw a surfer going to the water early, so we walked around the north shore to watch him.

Surfer on North Beach
Surfer on North Beach

See more trip photos here.

Back to the North Side

We stopped in North Beach before returning to the highway. The rain had stopped, but the wind persisted, so we took our group photo in the trees instead. A few hikers showed up before soon going on their merry way. Before long, we were back on the road.

We waited for two people to come off the bridge, fearing congestion. By then, it was blowing a gale, and keeping my center of gravity was hard. But the walkway couldn’t have been much narrower! The group started behind us had turned right around; the pups felt it too, as they hugged closer.

Back to the north side of Deception Pass State Park:
Back to the north side of Deception Pass State Park:

See more trip photos here.

Lighthouse Point and Lottie Bay

Whew! We were immediately out of the wind on the Fidalgo Island side. Soon, we were on the trail to Lighthouse Point, another touristy spot. But today’s weather had turned many people away as we took our usual route through the rim of the peninsula. Then we reconnected with the lower path at the northeast end.

On the way out to Bowman Bay, I decided to check out Lottie Bay, which looked woodsy from Lighthouse Point. But if there’s a trail, then there must be views! It was a quick .25-mile walk to the top before dropping to the clearing on the southeast. There was a more impressive view of the Deception Pass Bridge.

Deception Pass Bridge from Lottie Bay
Deception Pass Bridge from Lottie Bay

See more trip photos here.

Deception Pass State Park: Exiting via Rosario Head

The day went by fast, and it was nearing sunset when we returned to Bowman Bay. Since there was still daylight, we made a quick trip to Rosario Head. I remembered our first trip here as I looked at a couple by the Maiden of Deception Pass statue. Soon, another party with pups came up to the top after us.

One thing I love about Deception Pass State Park is its vastness. More often than not, visitors gather around areas with views of the bridge. But for those seeking solitude, there is no shortage of tucked-away places to dodge the mass.

It was the windiest of all our Deception Pass State Park outings. We returned to the car 45 minutes past sunset, which was still light out.

Thanks for an almost no-rain day
Thanks for an almost no-rain day

See more trip photos here.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Discover more from One Hike A Week / 每週一行

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading