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San Juan Wilderness

General Contacts Area Management Wilderness Laws Trip Planning Images

Recreational Opportunities

San Juan Wilderness consists of islands. The waters surrounding the islands are outside the Wilderness and are open to boating. To provide undisturbed habitat, boaters are asked to stay 200 yards away from the islands while observing wildlife.

Most of the Wilderness is closed. However, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission operates 5 acres on Matia Island as Matia Island State Park, with two buoys, a dock, a ramp, and a campground. A 1-mile hiking trail from the campground allows visitors to walk through the Wilderness. Please stay on the designated trail.

Matia Island State Park is reachable only by boat. It is located 2.5 miles north of Orcas Island and 1.5 miles east of Sucia Island. The closest launch sites are in Blaine, Obstruction Pass on Orcas Island, Squallicum Harbor in Bellingham, and in Anacortes. The only access is a dock at Roche Cove. The dock is in place from April to mid-October. All other shoreline areas are closed. The campground has 6 campsites, a sandy beach, a picnic site, and a composting toilet. There is no potable water on Matia Island. The nearest potable water, on Sucia Island, is available from April to September. Garbage must be packed out. For further information on regulations, hours, moorage fees, and camping fees, please see Matia Island State Park's Web site (http://www.parks.wa.gov/parks/?selectedpark=Matia Island) or call 360-902-8844.

Climate and Special Equipment Needs

Matia Island temperatures are moderate, rarely exceeding 80 degrees in the summer or falling below 30 degrees in the winter. Ocean conditions can be challenging at any time of the year, but especially from mid-October to the end of March. Annual rainfall averages 25-28 inches. The driest months are June, July, and August.

Safety and Current Conditions

Boating safety should be foremost in the minds of visitors in the waters surrounding the islands. Check for National Weather Service storm warnings at http://www.weather.gov/, and always wear personal flotation devices. Visitors to Matia Island should be especially fire cautious during the dry summer months.




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