Bowman Bay Lighthouse Point Trail
Fidalgo Island, near Deception Pass on Whidbey Island.
July 31, 2007
This hike was two and a half miles, minimal elevation gain with amazing views of Bowman Bay, the Deception Pass Bridge, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It was worth the drive to Whidbey Island but I would have to say that the actual trail was a bit confusing.
The trail head starts at the beach. The day we were there, which was a Tuesday, the beach was not crowded with only a few picnickers and kayakers. The water is calm and the beach has an abundance of agate stones. Before the hike we walked the beach in search of the best ones, an excellent geology adventure for the kids.
We had eight kids with us ranging from five to fifteen years old, two adults, and my mother. We had left her on the beach to enjoy the view and the quiet as we were sure the hike wouldn’t take us very long. As it turned out, she had ended up waiting much longer than we thought and was sunburned by the time we returned. Poor Grandma.
The trail starts on a short walk on the beach and then heads into a forest and you immediately ascend onto the Lighthouse Point Trail. As you climb up, the view of the water below is amazing. The water is clear and you can see the sea floor from the trail.
The one problem we had with this specific hike was the lack of markers. There were many forks on the trail and we had no idea which way to take, which caused us once to end up at dead end on the face of a cliff. A family we encountered also had the same problem, they had had to backtrack also and were also confused as to which way to go several times. However, on this trail there were a few great viewpoints.
Another problem we encountered was that we were under the impression that this hike was mainly a beach hike, no need for hiking boots we thought, sandals would suffice. It turned out to be mostly dirt trails and some very rugged spots. So if you plan to do this hike make sure to wear your hiking boots, or at least not flip flops.
As we approached the same turn off we had encountered before we realized we weren’t on the main trail, so we backtracked to a section of the beach that connected to the other portion of the trail. We almost missed this also as it was a small pathway down the side of the trail. This was a daunting climb down as even I had trouble with it. Our youngest hiker who is five slipped and fell landing on his stomach upon a rock. We were amazed that he stood up with only a scrape on his belly. If we ever try this hike again we will definitely be more aware of the risky spots.
As you walk around the shoreline of the beach to reach the other forest there are two trails to take. We picked the one on the left because as we were deciding a family was heading back down the other trail and told us it wasn’t the way. A small marker should be displayed here as well as several other spots.
Needless to say, despite the uncertainty the views were amazing. On this trail we caught a beautiful glimpse of Deception Pass Bridge. There are a few large boulders situated in the perfect spot to sit for a photo.
As we reached the viewpoint on this trail, it made all of the confusion worth it. The view was amazing and from above you could see the waves crashing into the inlets and upon the rocks. The view was the Strait of Juan de Fuca and of little Deception Island sitting by itself in the sound.
The next attraction would be the lighthouse, if we could have found it that is. One of the trails we took led us to a dead end and at this point it was time to head back. We had been gone so long and poor grandma, who we could see from the location we were at, was roasting on the beach.
(Our view from the dead end. Grandma is at one of the tables probably sweltering in the heat)
Overall the hike was fun. The kids had a great time and we had only had three minor injuries. I would like to try again and actually find the lighthouse. If we hadn’t been in a hurry to return to the beach we probably would have bumped into it eventually.
Me and my girls
My friend and her boys