San Juan Islands Hiking Trails & Orcas Island Hikes

San Juan Islands
> Summer Recreation
> Hiking


San Juan Islands hiking can be truly fabulous. Exploring the islands with a backpack and good walking shoes is a great way to see them up close and have your own island adventure.

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  • Climb Mt. Constitution for stunning views and consider staying in the nearby Park campground. 
  • The south end of Lopez Island has lovely small parks connected by quiet roads. 
  • The area around American Camp on San Juan Island has great hikes along trails, beaches and roads.

Where can I go hiking and backpacking?

The San Juan Islands are individually not very large which means trails are not very long. However if you combine trails and quiet country roads there are many more miles to enjoy. 

  • Backpacking to the islands can be a fun affordable option if you plan ahead. 
  • Lopez and Shaw have camping within walking distance of the ferry landings but camping on San Juan and Orcas is much farther away. 
  • Backpacking in the islands is more like backpacking across Europe than backpacking in the wilderness. 
  • Consider staying in a B&B if the weather is not cooperating.

South end of Lopez Island
The south end of Lopez Island has a lot of great hikes and the roads are never busy. Try hiking from Iceberg Point to Point Colville and back around via Watmough Bay and Chadwick Hill. You can hike any part or the whole of it and find great views, perfect meadows and beautiful forests. 

  • Distance: 9 miles RT 
  • Average Time of Hiking: 2-3 hours 
  • Elevation: A couple approx. 200 foot hills, but mainly sea level. 
  • Difficulty: Moderate 
  • Trail Type: Country roads and trails 
  • Trailhead: From the village head east on Hummel Lake Road, then take a right on Center Road. This will turn into Mud Bay Road, take another right on Mackaye Harbor Road, this will lead you to Agate Beach. Iceberg Point is just up the dirt road on the right.

Moran State Park
The forests, lakes, and streams that cover Mt. Constitution make this Park a great hiking destination. You can also camp here next to the lake or in the forest. The view from the top is stunning but the trail up is also beautiful. 

  • Distance: 10 miles RT 
  • Average Time of Hiking: 4 hours 
  • Elevation: 2409 foot climb, the highest point in the San Juans. 
  • Difficulty: Strenuous 
  • Trail Type: Hiking trail 
  • Trailhead: To reach Moran State Park from Eastsound head out of town on Olga Road and it will lead you right into the Park.

South Beach and Mt. Finlayson
The southern tip of San Juan Island has lots of great hikes. You can walk along two different long stretches of beach. You can hike over Mt. Finlayson or hike along the open ridge. Whatever route you choose there is plenty of wandering with amazing views everywhere you look. 

  • Distance: 5-8 miles depending on chosen route. 
  • Average Time of Hiking: 2-4 hours depending on breaks and route. 
  • Elevation: Sea level with an option for a 300 foot climb. 
  • Difficulty: Easy 
  • Trail Type: Hiking trail, beach and road. 
  • Trailhead: To get here from downtown Friday Harbor take Mullis Road until it turns into Cattle Point Road and stay on it till you reach the point, beach or American Camp.

I am looking for a hiking guide

Most of the locals have a deep appreciation for the natural beauty of the islands and are happy to give advice about what are the best hikes. While there are no guides specifically dedicated to hiking the local bike guides probably have some good hiking ideas too, try them if you’d like a personal hiking guide.