Orcas Island is one of my favorite places to camp. The island is magical. This campsite is really great b/c it sits right on Cascade Lake and you can easily get to various hiking trails and a few other lakes. One of my favorite things to do is hike Mount Constitution. The views at the top are amazing.
The site has a swimming area and you can rent kayaks, etc. There’s an undercover kitchen area you can rent if you want to cook with friends and there’s electrical outlets inside. Nice bathrooms. Family/four-legged friendly.
Highly recommend this spot. I typically camp 4+ days b/c the trek from Portland to Orcas is long. 4 hrs to Anacortes, WA + 1 hr ferry ride to Orcas Island + 20 min drive to Moran state park.
Moran State Park has several campgrounds - we had a reservation at site 17 at the Southend Campground. The other campgrounds looked great but I was really happy we ended up here, which felt like a small campground and all of the sites are right on the lake. I like site 17 because we had a neighbor on one side of us but a lake and hilly woods area on the other side so it felt more private. I would definitely recommend it and thought it was the best site in the campground. The campsite leads right down to the lake where there is a big slab of rock to sit on. Nice fire pit and grate, private flush bathrooms and showers all available.
To get to Moran State Park or anywhere on Orcas Island, you need to take a ferry. I had read that you should get a reservation but I ignored it, thinking it would be no problem. Luckily we were the second to last car to get on the ferry but we were really close to not making it. So, I did make a reservation for the return trip which was good because they were filling up and not making any of them on Sunday would have make it hard to get to work on Monday. The ferry took about 40 minutes and they have coffee, snacks and drinks, and of course, beautiful views.
Orcas Island is beautiful and more populated than I had realized. There are a handful of small hamlets around and a nice grocery store (pretty expensive though) right as you exit the ferry. Lots to do on the island, including beautiful hikes and cute restaurants and bars.
Totally worth a camping trip here and a looking forward to going back.
p.s. I have AT&T and did not get reception at the campground, but could get it by driving a few miles.
Right along one of the few bodies of fresh water in the the San Juan Islands, the Southend sites in Moran are gorgeous. I was super lucky to get one of the few vacant sites the Saturday of Labor Day weekend. Usually the campground would have been completely full but there was a last minute cancellation that opened up waterside spots! There are showers, toilets, and water available on the Southend and several small beaches along the shore. Unlike coastal beaches, it's actually warm enough the enjoy a swim in the lake. Over on the north side of the lake is a public beach area with a small shop and boat rentals. Moran State Park offers great hikes nearby including an easy trail around Cascade Lake that runs right through the campground. We stayed in site 17 which is right along the hiking trail so people passing by were audible (but not obnoxious). While the other campground loops along Moran are more readily accessible from the road, they are also closer to traffic and day-users.
The Southend camground at Moran is definitely the way to go. Most sites have their own private beach access of you want to keep your own boat on shore or swim with kids, the bathrooms are newer and much nicer, and it is at the trailheads that goes up the mountains to the falls or beyond to Mt. lake, Pilchuck, Consitition, etc. or around Cadcade lake/down to Rosario. Book super early to get these sites!
Beautiful setting on a pristine lake in the middle of an incredible island. Deer everywhere! Everything from hiking to kayaking, swimming, beach combing, whale watching or fantastic 5 star dining within minutes. A little crowded during the summer but still well worth it.
Partnering with Wanderlust, there are now glamping campsites in the south end of Moran State Park and they are amazing. We got to "peek in" and see them right when they launched and they look amazing. Unfortunately, there is a waitlist to obtain one of these 5 beauties.
Each site comes with a nice canvas tent, queen size bed, dresser, big chairs to sit by the firepit with basic amenities - coffee - water etc provided.
Note the tents are not on the lake like other sites but tucked in the woods with glimpses of the lake.
We are already planning our trip next summer - just need the waitlist to open soon!
(photo courtesy of wanderlust)