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Largest and most beautiful island in the San Juan archipelago, Orcas is also the most diverse. Roughly shaped like a giant horseshoe, this rugged island includes a pleasant central settlement — Eastsound — with upscale lodging places, fine dining, a historical museum, art galleries, and one of the finest skateboard parks in the Northwest. Lovely coves and bays abound, with opportunities for sailing trips, sea kayaking, and whale watching. Moran State Park encompasses 5,252 acres of forests, lakes, and mountainous terrain, and is a favorite spot for camping, swimming, and hiking. The featured park attraction is a road to the 2,409-foot summit ...

Largest and most beautiful island in the San Juan archipelago, Orcas is also the most diverse. Roughly shaped like a giant horseshoe, this rugged island includes a pleasant central settlement — Eastsound — with upscale lodging places, fine dining, a historical museum, art galleries, and one of the finest skateboard parks in the Northwest. Lovely coves and bays abound, with opportunities for sailing trips, sea kayaking, and whale watching. Moran State Park encompasses 5,252 acres of forests, lakes, and mountainous terrain, and is a favorite spot for camping, swimming, and hiking. The featured park attraction is a road to the 2,409-foot summit of Mt. Constitution, where a stone tower provides dramatic vistas across the San Juan Islands. The park was created by former Seattle mayor Robert Moran, whose elaborate mansion (completed in 1909) is now the centerpiece for Rosario Resort. Located on the west side of Orcas Island, Turtleback Mountain Preserve is an interesting natural area with many miles of hiking trails.

Don Pitcher
About the Expert

Don Pitcher has written or photographed 10 travel guidebooks to Alaska, Wyoming, Yellowstone-Grand Teton, and the San Juan Islands for Avalon Travel Publishing, Random House, and Sasquatch Books.

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Don Pitcher for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Largest of the San Juan Islands, Orcas is located in the northwestern corner of Washington state.
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summer or fall