Hike and Camp at James Island

Rate this Adventure Washington James Island State Park

Added by Rose Freeman

Hiking, camping, and kayakingWake up in your tent on a bluff above the waters of Rosario Straight with views of the San Juan Islands and Mount Baker!Boat-in only, 13 campsites available on first come first serve basis1.5 miles of hiking loop trails

If you're looking for a weekend camping getaway to a small San Juan Island and you have a boat of substantial size or experience sea kayaking, this is the adventure for you!

Launch your boat from Washington Park in Anacortes and cruise or sea kayak across Rosario Straight to James Island. There is one dock on the west side of the island that fills up quick, so plan to arrive early to guarantee a dock space! On the east side of the island, there are three mooring buoys you can tie up to as well.

The 1.5 mile hiking loop provides dramatic views of Mount Baker, North Cascades, and the San Juan Islands. Keep an eye out for whales and sea otters while you're hiking!

If you're interested in fishing or shellfish harvesting from this island, make sure to pick up your recreational license and check regulations at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife before the trip.

There are 13 campsites located at 3 different places around James Island. Sites 1-4 are located in the East cove where there is one pit toilet. Sites 5-10 are located between the West and East cove. You will find a picnic shelter, two picnic sites, and composting toilets here. Sites 11-13 are located above West cove are are specifically reserved for those arriving by human or wind-powered watercraft. There is a pit toilet at these sites, too. There is no potable water on the island or garbage service, so plan to pack it in, pack it out! For more information regarding camping at James Island, check out: Washington State Parks

Happy exploring!

Pack List

Hiking Gear:

  • Osprey Mira 26 Hydration Pack
  • Lowa boots
  • Extra clothing layers (waterproof shell, fleece)
  • Headlamp
  • First aid
  • Extra food & hydration (reminder: there is no potable water or garbage services on this island! Pack it in, pack it out!)
  • Camera!

Overnight Camping Gear:

  • Tent, tarp, stakes, hammer
  • Sleeping pads, sleeping bags, pillows
  • Extra blankets!
  • Lantern
  • Flashlights
  • Extra sleepwear for chilly nights on the island!
  • Personal items: toilet paper, sunscreen, lip balm, insect repellent, hand sanitizer, toothbrush, & sunglasses

Camp Kitchen Essentials:

  • Cook stove, fuel, skillet, utensils, aeropress french press, percolator, plates, cups, cooler & ice, biodegradable soap, sponge, & wash bucket.
  • Food for the trip & extra snacks!

Boating Gear:

  • Map & compass
  • Flotation devices for all aboard
  • Anchor
  • Extra rope to tie up at dock
  • Emergency supplies
  • Other boating equipment for 2 day adventure (this is not a complete list)
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Share

Activities:

Camping, Chillin, Diving, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Year Round

Features:

Beach
Family Friendly
Forest
Picnic Area
Romantic
Scenic

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

Have you done this adventure? Have something to add? You could be the first to leave a review!

Added by Rose Freeman

More Adventures Nearby

Backpack to Waptus Lake

Washington / Salmon La Sac Trailhead

Starting at the Salmon La Sac trailhead north of Cle Elum, the Waptus River Trail meanders ten miles through the spectacular Alpine Lakes Wilderness to reach the scenic shores of Waptus Lake.

Brian Pinkard
2 Saves

Stargazing at Artist Point

Washington / Artist Point

A couple things must coincide for you to have a great time watching the milky way at Artist Point.

Kyle Szegedi
1 Saves

Camp at Salt Creek

Washington / Salt Creek Campground

Spend a relaxing night camping at the Salt Creek County Park. This family-friendly adventure can be a perfect overnight getaway for anyone in need of some easy-access outdoors time.

Tara Stamnes
5 Saves