Welcome to the northwestern-most point in the lower 48 states! Patos Island is a wild and remote 200-acre island in the beautiful Salish Sea. The mountains of Canada and the spectacular Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges provide scenic backdrops to this special area. Recreational activities include hiking, camping, boating, sea kayaking, watching wildlife, and viewing wildflowers along the beaches, wooded areas, and at overlooks. The BLM cooperatively manages the area with Washington State Parks. Patos Island Lighthouse, built in 1893, stands on the western-most end of the island, providing light and reference to mariners.
Know Beofre You Go:
Patos Island is open YEAR ROUND. Limited mooring buoys and campsites in Active Cove are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Patos Island is only accessible by watercraft. Patos Island is very primitive and there is no fresh water available on site. On October 7, 2014, San Juan County became the first County in the U.S. designated as a voluntary Leave No Trace Area. Point of Interest:
Keepers of the Patos Light are a nonprofit partner group that operates a small interpretive museum during the summer weekends from June through September, based on weather and available volunteers.
It was an awesome trip. We camped right out in the open and watched the barges go past in the night. The stars and the sunsets were incredible. The view from the lighthouse is pretty incredible. Can only get there by boat, so it's pretty quiet.
Patos Island is incredible. A little bit hard to get to, the cove on Patos boasts strong currents that require you to anchor with care if not using one of the few mooring buoys. Some of the campsites are rather exposed while others are well tucked into the woods.
The walk to the Patos Lighthouse is easy, short, and a must do. My favorite is going to the lighthouse for sunset. If you're lucky enough to be there when the lighthouse is open for tours you'll get a quick glimpse into the history of the islands.