San Juan Islands National Wildlife Refuge in Washington

>
>

San Juan Islands National Wildlife Refuge

The San Juan Islands National Wildlife Refuge was set up to protect the breeding and nesting habitats for many of the islands native birds and marine creatures. Great wildlife viewing! Read More

  • Watch the native marine species and birds in their natural environment. 
  • Great opportunities for birding without the difficulty of tromping through the woods or marsh. 
  • See the baby seals and their parents without disturbing them by getting to close.

What can I see and do at San Juan Islands National Wildlife Refuge?

The series of 83 small wildlife sanctuaries that make up the SJINWR are scattered throughout the larger islands. They are best viewed from the water and most allow no human access. However both Matia and Turn Island have parts that are for wildlife only and parts that are for human use. That makes these two Islands a good option if you want to be close to the wildlife refuge while still respecting the boundaries set up to protect the wildlife. 

  • Watch baby seals and gulls through binoculars as they are fed and tended by their parents. 
  • Look for eagle nests and during the spring and summer watch the eagles returning with food for their young. 
  • Birding is particularly good on the small islands where colonies of seabirds make their nests.

Where is San Juan Islands National Wildlife Refuge?

The 83 different sites are spread throughout the San Juan Islands. Some of the best access is from San Juan Island. Often local whale watching tours will take you by the small islands in order to spot seals and other marine creatures.

When is San Juan Islands National Wildlife Refuge open?

The islands can be viewed throughout the year but spring and summer are the most exciting times due to the birth and rearing of young. It is extremely important not to land on any of the protected islands and to stay well away from baby animals in particular.

Share Your Thoughts & Questions