Outdoor Seattle

Orcas Island and Moran State Park would be the choice you would make if money was no object

The trip to Orcas Island really begins with a one hour ferry ride and some of the most beautiful scenery.  Sitting on the deck of the ferry in the sun and watching a tapestry of craggy rock, treed islands pass by you always come to the realization that life can be amazing, absolutely amazing in a world like this.

This begins with an easy drive from Seattle to Anacortes where you can take the Island Ferry.  If it is new to you click I-5 North and you can print the map.  It is an 80 mile drive so give yourself an hour and 30 minutes.  I have been very careful in how I have been using my mileage so decreasing it to 50 miles per week I have saving my carbon credits that I use for these occasions.  When you reach Anacortes the path to the Ferry terminal is very well marked.  If you are going to be on the water you do want to choose the right weather for that perfect adventure.  Weather cams are available through KING 5 and the state will give you a webcam to see what the traffic is like at the terminal.  Click Washington State Ferry System to see what the traffic getting on the ferry is like.  Sailing times and ticket costs are available at Ferry Schedules-Tickets.  There is ample parking available so you can park and walk your bike onto the ferry or you can drive on and take your car.  If you bike you will not have to wait for space for your car and it will be cheaper. The trip by ferry is one hour.  The drive or bike ride to Moran State Park from the ferry terminal is close to 37 miles when you reach the parking lot on the top of Mt Constitution. Click the Orcas Island Map so you can see the path.   It is a wonderfully beautiful and relatively flat for those who are biking.  When you reach the park the drive to the top will take 20 minutes and the elevation gain is 1500 hundred feet.  This is a mountain road with switchbacks and sharp turns.  The one who is not frightened of heights or falling should be the designated driver.  The park has 30 miles of trails and there is a hike that will take you from the bottom to the overlook (this is just over 7 miles and the elevation is still 1500 ft-this is rated as easy to not quite moderate).  The views are incredible. Let me repeat that, the views are incredible.  If this is done as a day trip be very careful that you do not try to do more than you can accomplish in the time you have.  Since I typically bring a date I will stop for breakfast at the Orcas Hotel and will then drive on to park.  I have cycled to the park and highly recommend that choice as well.  I really enjoy the ferry ride so I try to head back to Anacortes to be on the water at sunset.

This trip should be done at least once each summer.  I would advise that you not do this on the 4th of July or other summer holiday weekends

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