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Moran State Park

Moran State Park

visited 22 – 23 July 2023

The San Juan Islands are rich with state parks (many of them islands I haven’t yet visited), but if there’s any one state park that stands out as the iconic park of the islands, it would have to be Moran State Park.

This park comprises a large part of the eastern side of Orcas Island and includes the islands’ highest point, Mount Constitution.

It was foggy yesterday morning when I came across on the ferry from Anacortes. So much so that the ferry had to slow way down for part of the journey for lack of visibility.

I first stopped at Cascade Lake, the point where the road to Olga village passes through the park. By this point, the fog was just starting to burn off.

Next up was the road to the summit of Mount Constitution:

I got to the summit around 9:30am, in time to catch some of the fog still on the water below.

During the Great Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps invested heavily in building infrastructure for us to enjoy the outdoors. One of their larger projects was in the recently-opened Moran State Park. Among many other projects in this park, they built an observation tower at the summit of Mount Constitution. The top of this tower offers some amazing panoramic views of the surrounding area:

Heading back down the mountain, I stopped to explore the Cold Spring area:

Cascade Lake Overlook

That was yesterday. Today I came back to explore a bit more.

(What other park has its own custom entrance arch?)

There are 61 km / 38 miles of hiking trails in Moran State Park and to be honest, I don’t have time to explore them all. But I did do the 7 km / 4 mile loop around Mountain Lake this afternoon.

Lots of people were out kayaking and stand-up paddling around the lake and enjoying the little islands within the lake.

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