Obstruction Pass State Park

The hidden gem of Orcas Island

While many outdoor enthusiasts are drawn to Orcas Island for Moran State Park, nestled in the bottom corner of the island lies Obstruction Pass State Park, offering visitors smaller and quieter hiking trails with stunning ocean views.

Orcas Island is well-known for Moran State Park, one of the largest state parks in Washington and home of the highest point in the San Juan Island chain. At 76-acres, Obstruction Pass is much smaller than Moran, but definitely worth the trip to visit one of the few public beaches on Orcas with more than a mile of public saltwater shoreline. The park has 9 primitive campsites, no potable water, composting toilets, and is a pack-it-in, pack-it-out location, meaning visitors can have an authentic experience connecting with the island. There are three buoys available for boaters and the park is popular with kayakers as well, with one of the campsites reserved for kayakers on the Cascadia Marine Trail.

For fans of scientific history, Obstruction Pass has a self-guided 0.6 mile interpretive trail that leads from the parking lot down to the beach and campsites. The trail features signs that detail the geology, ecology, and cultural significance of the park and Orcas Island. Obstruction Island is right off the shoreline of the park and received its name from the Wilkes Expedition in 1841. The name Obstruction Pass was given to the two passes on either side of Obstruction Island, at the bottom right of Orcas Island. The area was originally managed by the Washington Department of Natural Resources but was transferred to Washington State Parks in 2005. Obstruction Pass State Park’s facilities and campgrounds are administered by staff at Moran State Park, the headquarter office for the state parks of the San Juan Islands. Campsites are on a first-come, first-serve basis at Obstruction Pass. For more information about the park call 360-902-8844 or 360-376-2326 for the Moran State Park office.