Obstruction Pass State Park Hike, Orcas Island, Washington

     The alarm went off, not too early, just early enough to catch the sub-par continental breakfast before catching our ferry to Lopez Island, Shaw Island, and eventually Orcas Island, our final destination.  Once off the ferry we made the drive from one side to the island to the other and the trailhead at Obstruction Pass State Park. After parking we had an informal lunch of cheese and salami before hitting the trail. Kylie was tired, she had fallen asleep on the way to the trailhead and didn’t want to get out of the car. It took a little sweet talking but eventually she stepped out and to the back of the car where she devoured the last of the salami. The weather looked a little threatening but i was optimistic. After loading up we passed through the gate at the trailhead and picked up the highline trail heading up out of the parking lot.

     The Highline Trail made a modest climb through an open forest and passing mossy rocks that lined the path. We passed a couple of side trails to private and even learned a few things at the interpretive signs along the way. We crested a knoll before traversing a small hill then descending to a madrona lined bluff that offered sweeping views down to a beach below near the mouth of the Eastsound. We lingered a while amongst my new favorite tree, the madrona, i can’t get enough of these unique hardy trees. Leaving the bluff the trail descended as we turned west and soon discovered a small backcountry campground, accessible only to boaters and kayakers. From the campground we took the steps down to the coarse sand beach littered with driftwood. We took a break, the sun’s rays were trying hard to reach our malnutritioned pale winter skin. The kids got a kick out of all the rocks they could throw, they could have spent a lifetime trying to toss them all into the sound. Robin and I talked while we took in the view out toward Obstruction and Blakely Island. Reluctantly it was eventually time to go, on the way out we picked up the unsigned main trail heading inland, away from the beach.

     The path was good and obvious, and rather quickly we encountered an interpretive sign validating my correct decision. Kylie was beginning to lag a little, she was run down, poor girl, the mono was definitely taking its toll on her, usually she wouldn’t bat an eye at a 2 mile stroll. We made our way north high along a bluff offering limited news through madrona trees, we did find one clearing on a ledge big enough for us to wander out onto for impressive views of Eastsound and out toward Buck Bay. Back on the main trail we eventually reached an unsigned junction with a faint trail heading down and to the left back toward the bluff, we followed it a short ways before it became even more faint and muddy as it began to lose some real elevation. We discussed continuing but the lack of a real trail turned us off so retreated back to the previous junction with the main trail back to the trailhead. Jameson and I strolled out ahead as Kylie really began to drag her feet. Eventually we all made it back to the car where we loaded up and made our way to the hotel in Cascade Bay at the Rosario Resort. Obstruction pass makes for a great little day hike, we hiked about 2 miles with around 300 feet of elevation gain.

     At the resort we were surprised to find out our room had one of the best views in bay, high on a hillside overlooking the bay, it was truly spectacular. After settling in we went into town and found some ice cream for the kids before having dinner at the White Horse Grill at a window seat with a view of the bay and Indian Island. After dinner we cruised over to Island Hoppin Brewery where I filled a growler before heading back to the resort. Back on the road we made a quick stop at Crescent Beach in Ship Bay so the kids could do a little shell hunting, they had a blast exploring the sand for treasures and watching the birds play in the surf, it was a perfect evening. The sun was setting and it was getting late when we decided to throw in the towel and retreat back to the hotel. Back in our room for the night we watched the end of the Mariner game while the kids enjoyed a movie on the floor. For more pictures click the link. Obstruction Pass State Park

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