Washington’s most popular state park, Deception Pass, was recently named the fifth most beautiful in the country by the digital travel publication Travel Lens.
The ranking was based on search data from 2020-2022 and the number of state park reviews on Yelp and TripAdvisor that contained words like “beautiful,” “stunning,” and “breathtaking.” With 61.03% of online reviews mentioning words synonymous with beauty, it’s no surprise that Deception Pass is highly sought after by visitors.
Deception Pass sits on 3,854 acres split between two islands, Fidalgo and Whidbey, just 90 minutes from Seattle. The gravity-defying Canoe Pass and Deception Pass bridges connect the two islands over rugged cliffs and dark teal saltwater passages, according to a report by The Seattle Times.
The park is widely beloved for its tide pools teeming with sea creatures, long stretches of fresh and saltwater beaches, old-growth forests, an abundance of wildlife, and over 45 miles combined of hiking, horse, bike, and ADA hiking trails.
But Deception Pass is more than just a natural wonder. It is also the ancestral home of the Samish and Swinomish tribes, for whom the park represents their treaty-guaranteed “usual and accustomed grounds” for fishing, clamming, and foraging.
The park is set to expand by 78 acres this year with a new parcel of land on the north side of the park, allowing more visitors to experience the beauty and cultural significance of Deception Pass.
In 2021, the park’s estimated 3.2 million to 3.5 million visitors rivaled the attendance totals of the 10 most visited national parks, cementing its place as a must-see destination for nature and culture lovers alike.