Deception Pass, Washington


My day began in the nice little island town of Oak Harbor, on Whidbey Island, and my first destination of the day was just up the road.  Deception Pass is the narrow canyon that separates Whidbey Island from Fidalgo Island.

A bridge carries Washington Route 20 across the chasm.  There are parking areas on both ends, that allow a casual visitor the chance to check out the steel arch bridge…

… and admire the rock-walled passageway below.  Because this is the only passage for miles around, you can watch the water rush through the strait, as the tide goes in and out.

The land on both sides of Deception Pass makes up Deception Pass State Park — Washington’s most-visited state park.  I didn’t have time to explore it, but it looks like it’s worth a return trip.  The park offers hiking trails, lake and beach access areas, and three campgrounds (though its website does warn that campers may be awakened by jets from the nearby Naval Air Station.

Admission to Deception Pass State Park is the same as Washington State’s other parks — a rather steep $11.50 per day (per vehicle, as of 2011).  As far as I could tell, the admission fee is not necessary to stop at the parking areas on either end of the Deception Pass Bridge.

Captain George Vancouver named Deception Pass in 1792.  He felt he had been “deceived” into thinking that Whidbey Island was a peninsula, and therefore attached eternal blame to the pass that embarrassed him.  Vancouver also named Whidbey Island after a member of his expedition, Joseph Whidbey.  (Peter Puget, of Puget Sound fame, was also a member of the same expedition.)
As you can see from the photos, grey skies were plaguing the start of my day, and they were destined to hang around throughout the rest of my vacation, with only occasional breaks. Because of the gloom, and eventual rain, I drove on from Deception Pass onto the mainland without stopping.

Drivelapse Video

Here’s the time-lapse, dash-cam video of the drive from Oak Harbor, Washington, across Deception Pass, and on to Burlington:

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