Orcas Island

Moran State Park & Mt. Constitution

Mt Constitution

View from Mt. Constirution by Jonathan Miske

Moran State Park is a 5,252-acre camping park with five freshwater lakes and over 30 miles of hiking trails. Atop the 2,409-foot Mt. Constitution, the highest point on the San Juan Islands, there stands a stone observation tower built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1936. The tower offers panoramic views of the surrounding islands, the Cascade Mountains, and a variety of Canadian and American cities.

How to get there: Car or Bike

Activities: Trails – 6 miles of horse trails, 11 miles of bike trails, 38 miles of hiking trails

Water Activities & Features: Boating (non-motorized), Freshwater fishing, Swimming, Two boat ramps

Other Activities & Features: Bird watching, Mountain biking, Wildlife viewing

Buck Bay Shellfish Farm (Olga)

Buck Bay Shellfish Farm

Buck Bay is a beautiful and special area, with a freshwater mountain stream running into the bay from Mountain Lake. Great Blue Herons and Bald Eagles preside over the long, shallow bay, and Canada Geese nest here. Buck Bay Shellfish Farm Oysters are an integral part of the ecosystem, and depend on the balance between nature and those who tend the bay.

How to get there: Car or Bike

Activities: Good eating!

Oysters: Buck Bay Shellfish Farm grows Pacific Oysters (Crassostrea gigas) in netted bags placed in racks in the bay. We harvest oysters each day and offer different sizes, including Petite, Small, Medium and Large. Petite and Small oysters are best eaten raw while Medium and Large oysters are great on the grill. Because of the freshwater stream that runs into the bay from Mountain Lake, Buck Bay Shellfish Farm Oysters have a noticeably sweet flavor as opposed to the briny flavor most associated with Atlantic Oysters.

Clams: At Buck Bay Shellfish Farm, we grow both Manila Clams and Littleneck Clams. Manila Clams, also called steamers, are sweet and tender, and are great sauteed with butter, white wine and garlic. Littleneck Clams are bigger and are meaty and chewy; they are great for grilling.

Seafood: The Dungeness Crab is sweet, delicious and harvested from the waters surrounding Orcas Island from the Salish Sea during crabbing season. Spring is wild-caught local Spot Prawn season. These tender beauties are delicious head on, served cold or sauteed in garlic and butter and served with pasta. We offer several kinds of salmon in season, including King, Silver, Sockeye and more.

Turtleback Mountain

Turtleback Mountain

View from Turtleback Mountain, by cleong

Get away from the crowds and wander rare Garry oak woodlands, grasslands, conifer forests, and scattered wetlands. Long admired by locals, this 1,718-acre preserve was acquired in 2006 through a cooperative fundraising effort. On Turtleback Mountain, you can hike in relative solitude, especially compared to the bustle of nearby Moran State Park.

You have two choices of trailheads. The south entrance accesses Garry oak and prairies on the south slopes of the park, and leads hikers to spectacular island vistas. This hike is about three miles round trip and offers nonstop views of pastoral farmlands and the surrounding San Juan Islands. From the parking lot, head 0.4 miles along the trail and fork left onto the Lost Oak Trail. Turn right where the trail branches after 0.5 miles and continue the loop that takes you past West Overlook and back to the feeder South Trail, where you turn left to return to the parking lot.

If you prefer a more traditional Pacific Northwest hike, opt for the North route. This is a longer, steeper hike through quiet old-growth forest with views northwest towards Waldron Island. From the parking lot, follow the North Trail for 2.1 miles, taking detours to the various overlooks along the way. When you come to a fork, go right for 0.2 miles.

How to get there: Car or Bike

Activities: Trails, Hiking, Mountain biking, Wildlife viewing

Orcas Island Farmers Market (Eastsound)

Orcas Farmers Market

Photo by Roger Lew

The Orcas Island Farmers Market is open from 10am to 3pm every Saturday from the first weekend in May to the last weekend of September on the Village Green in the heart of Eastsound (map shown at bottom).

During October and through most of November, the Market meets from 11am to 2pm at Oddfellows Hall, located on Haven Street just south of Main Street on the way to Madrona Point.

All Items sold in the market are grown or crafted by Orcas Island farmers and artisans. The market includes produce, much of it organic, crafts, art, jewelry, clothing, pottery, food and drink vendors, and some of Orcas Island’s service organizations (historical museum, master gardeners).


Crow Valley Pottery (Eastsound)

Crow Valley Potters

Photo by Homini:)

Opened  in 1959, Crow Valley Pottery continues to focus on artists creating original works in a variety of media. Potters Jeffri Coleman and Michael Rivkin anchor two exciting galleries unmatched in the islands for its breadth of artists. Coupled with an ever-changing collection of works, the diverse selection of artists and media makes each visit to Crow Valley Pottery & Gallery unique.  The summer show series is a “must do” while on Orcas. The annual Garden Show each June ushers in the beginning of the summer season.  The Potters Fest annually in July quickly became a mainstay.  A special showing of new works from David Ridgway will be the icing on the cake!