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Washington State Parks

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USA Parks
North Cascades Region
Saddlebag Island State Park
Cool Swim ©
Spring Hike ©
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Anacortes, Washington   98221
(lat:48.5357 lon:-122.5572) map location

Phone: 360-376-2073
Saddlebag Island is a 26-acre marine park located in Padilla Bay with 6,750 feet of shoreline. The park is named for the two rocky knobs separated by a narrow saddle of land that form the shape of the island.
History of the Area
Saddlebag Island was originally mapped by the United States Exploring Expedition of 1841 led by American explorer and naval officer Charles Wilkes. The island was labelled by Wilkes as one of the Porpoise Rocks, the other two being the present-day Dot and Huckleberry Islands. The origin of the name Saddlebag is unknown, but it likely derives from the shape of the island.

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission purchased Saddlebag Island from a private citizen for use as a park in 1974.
A Discover Pass is required for vehicle access to Washington state parks for day use. For more information about the Discover Pass and exemptions, please visit the Discover Pass web page.
The park has four primitive campsites and one composting toilet. Camping is available on a first come, first served basis. Campers must self-register and pay fees at the bulletin board / pay station. One campsite is part of the Cascadia Marine Trail and for the exclusive use of those arriving by human- or wind-powered watercraft.
Saddlebag Island State Park is located on Puget Sound in Skagit County. There are no mooring buoys or docks available at the park.

The north bay provides the most wind protection and the bay's bottom consists of mainly of sand and gravel with some bigger rocks spread throughout the bay. Access to the island is gentler and easier from the north bay.

The south bay beach has many logs, and a steep step incline make access to the camping area more difficult. The southwest winds make the south bay rougher and will push boats around.

The waters in Padilla Bay fluctuate due to the tides. Be aware of the tides to keep your boat from becoming high and dry.

One picnic site is available. There is no potable water or garbage service on the island. Visitors must pack out what they pack in.
1. Saddlebag Island Trail: This is the main trail that circles around the entire island, offering panoramic views of surrounding water bodies and distant mountains.

2. North Beach Trail: A short but scenic route leading to a quiet beach area on the northern side of the island with stunning sunset views over Puget Sound.

3. South Shoreline Loop: An easy loop along southern shoreline featuring diverse flora and fauna as well as beautiful vistas across Padilla Bay towards Mount Baker in distance.

4. West Point Lookout Pathway: Short steep hike up to an elevated lookout point providing 360-degree view encompassing both mainland Washington State and other islands within San Juan archipelago.

5. East Side Nature Walks: These are series of interconnected trails crisscrossing through eastern part's dense forested areas showcasing local wildlife habitats including nesting sites for bald eagles.

6. Interior Forest Trails: Network of narrow winding paths meandering through heartland forests filled with old-growth trees like Douglas firs, western red cedars etc., ideal for birdwatchers or those seeking solitude amidst nature's tranquility.

7. Campground Access Paths: Several small pathways connecting different camping spots scattered throughout park ensuring campers have direct access to all major hiking routes without needing any long detours.

8. Picnic Area Footpaths: Easy walking tracks linking various picnic tables located near central boat dock making it convenient for day:trippers arriving by ferry from nearby towns such as Bellingham or Anacortes.

9. Interpretive Educational Trails: Guided walks designed especially children where they can learn about native plants, animals plus history & geology related aspects concerning this unique marine state park situated right at edge between Salish Sea & Strait Of Georgia watersheds region.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
April 8 A nice stop by Tworedkayaks
park review stars; one to five The island had beautiful, small wild flowers and the south side of the island was warm and sunny. This was especially nice after a week of rain and snow. The north side of the island was cool and breezy. Brand new outhouse was a plus. Nice views except the oil refinery!
June 2 a great expereince by melanie bainter
park review stars; one to five The view from some of these campsites are great and I love that it closely overlooks the ocean. Fun swimming and snorkling on the sunnier and warmer days in the summer. The only bad thing is that the outhouses are worse than any that I have ever come across and I have come across some pretty bad ones. - but other than that this is a very fun expereince.
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Washington State Parks