You must be signed in to save park lists.
Your Park Lists
add New List
Add Photo
You must be signed in to add photos.
state route ranger badge

Washington State Parks

responsive menu icon
USA Parks
The Islands Region
Sucia Island Marine State Park
Sucia Island Marine State Park Mt. Baker over Echo Bay © Hartley Gardner
Alpenglow on Mt. Baker as dusk falls on the Echo Bay anchorage.
Sucia Island Marine State Park Moonrise over Echo Bay © Hartley Gardner
An almost-full moon rising over the Echo Bay anchorage on Sucia Island.
Availability Search
Eastsound, Washington   98245
(lat:48.7572 lon:-122.9089) map location

Phone: 360-376-2073
Sucia Island Marine State Park is an 814-acre marine park with 77,700 feet of shoreline and abundant camping and moorage. The main island and several smaller islands comprise the Sucia group. There are no services on this island, and fossil collecting is strictly prohibited in this and all Washington state parks.
History of the Area
This island park sits within the traditional territory of several Coast Salish tribes, who occupied the area for several thousand years.

In 1791, Spanish explorer, Captain Francisco de Eliza, labelled the island as Isla Sucia on his map. In Spanish, sucio means dirty or foul.

In 1841, American explorer and naval officer Charles Wilkes renamed Sucia and its neighboring reefs and rocks the Percival Group to honor Captain John Percival, who fought in the War of 1812. The Spanish name was restored by British naval officer Henry Kellet in his 1847 Admiralty chart.

The first known Euro-American settler on the island was Charles Henry Wiggins, who moved to the island in the 1880s with his wife, Mary Lozier, a Cowlitz Indian. The Wiggins family had lived previously on nearby Waldron Island, but left for Sucia after government agents seized eight of their children and took them to Chemawa Indian School in Salem, Oregon. The couple had five more children on Sucia and established a farm with fruit trees, cows and sheep. Wiggins Head at the southwest end of the island is named for the family.

Fox farming and sandstone quarrying were among the industries undertaken on the island during the early-to-mid 20th century.

Washington State Parks acquired 115 acres of Sucia Island near Fossil Bay in 1952. Later, developers wanted to parcel up the remainder into vacation lots. Seattle yachtsman Everett Ev Henry spearheaded a drive to raise money and the Interclub now the Recreational Boaters Association of Washington was formed. The club paid $25,000 to purchase the land, which was donated to Washington State Parks in 1959. The agency acquired the remaining parcels of private property in 1972, and the entire island became a state marine park.

On April 10, 2012, part of a femur bone from a theropod dinosaur was discovered in a rock on the island. Theropods are a group of meat-eating, two-legged dinosaurs, including T. rex and Velociraptor. The fossil was spotted and excavated by paleontologists at the Burke Museum. The fossil is around 80 million years old, and the dinosaur lived south of todays Washington state. The rocks that make up Sucia Island are believed to have been moved slowly north by geological processes.
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.
Camping is available on a first come, first served basis. The park has 60 standard campsites, four reservable group camps, four picnic shelters, potable drinking water at Fossil Bay early April through September, Echo Bay and Shallow Bay May through September and composting toilets.

Four group camp areas may be reserved nine months in advance.
1. Sucia Island Marine State Park offers various swimming options in its clear, clean waters.
2. The park's beaches provide easy access for swimmers of all levels.
3. Swimmers can explore the island's coves and bays during high tide periods.
4. Snorkeling is a popular activity due to abundant marine life around the island.
5. Swimming near Fossil Bay provides opportunities to see unique rock formations underwater.
6. The water temperature varies seasonally; it may be cold outside summer months so wetsuits are recommended.
7. Swimming at Echo Bay gives panoramic views of surrounding islands and mountains.
8. There are no lifeguards on duty, so visitors should swim with caution especially when currents are strong.

Located in Puget Sound in San Juan County, Sucia Island has 48 mooring buoys, two linear moorage systems and two docks. These are found at six locations around the island. Dock One is removed late October through March. Anchorage is available in all of the bays and coves, and there is no fee fo r boats riding on their own anchor. The bottoms are generally sandy mud, but in some locations eelgrass and seaweed may make setting anchor difficult.
Visitors can enjoy saltwater fishing, targeting species such as salmon and lingcod. Shellfish harvesting is also popular for clams and oysters.

The park offers 25 picnic sites, five picnic shelters, potable drinking water at Fossil Bay early April through September, Echo Bay and Shallow Bay May through September and composting toilets. Day-use areas may be reserved nine months in advance.
1. Fossil Bay Trail: This trail starts at the dock in Fossil Bay and winds through a dense forest, leading to an open meadow with stunning views of the bay.

2. Shallow Bay Trail: A relatively flat path that takes hikers along Sucia Island's western shoreline offering beautiful sunset views over water.

3. Mud Point Loop Trail: An easy 0.8-mile loop around Mud Point featuring scenic vistas across Boundary Pass towards Saturna Island in Canada.

4. Fox Cove Lookout Pathway: Short but steep pathway from Ewing Cove up to a lookout point overlooking Fox Cove - perfect for bird watching or spotting marine life below.

5. Gull Rock Outpost Hike: It is one of the longer trails on Sucia island which leads you out onto Gull rock outpost where there are panoramic oceanic view points.

6. Ev Henry Point Trek: The trek offers breathtaking cliffside viewpoints looking eastward into Echo bay.

7. D'Arcy Island Route: This route provides access to D'arcy island via intertidal zone during low tide only, it's recommended for experienced adventurers due its challenging terrain.

8. Snoring Bayside Walkabout: Easy walkable trail alongside Snoring bays coastline providing serene beachfront experience.

9. Mt.Sucia Summit Climb: Challenging uphill climb rewarding climbers with spectacular aerial view of entire Marine state park.

10. Johnson Beach Stroll: Leisurely stroll down Johnsons beach ideal spot for picnics and sunbathing sessions.

11. Patrol Cabin Woods Way: Dense woodland hike ending near old patrol cabin site now used as picnic area.

12. China Caves Exploration Track: Unique track taking explorers closeup look at China caves geological formations formed by wave erosion action against sandstone cliffs.
Birdwatchers can spot various species like bald eagles, peregrine falcons, and black oystercatchers. The park is home to numerous seabirds including rhinoceros auklets and pigeon guillemots. Migratory birds such as the Pacific loon also frequent this area during certain seasons.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
September 8 Family was the Wiggins by Patricia_D
park review stars; one to five My Great grandmother was Mary Luzier which is spelled wrong, It should read Mary Lozier
June 2 Regular Visits since 1962 by Sam F.
park review stars; one to five This has been a favorite destination most of my life. While it is more crowded now, it has never ceased to be an excellent boating destination and my all-time-fave shore-camping spot when boating the SJI region.
August 9 Our favorite start park by Bri-Anne
park review stars; one to five Great docks,trails and camping.Staff very helpful and patrol the grounds regularly.
write a review read more reviews
Share On

Area Campgrounds
Sun Retreats Birch Bay
5001 Bay Road
Blaine, WA
Nearby Hotels

state route ranger badge

Washington State Parks