San Juan Islands Washington, Islands of the San Juan Archipelago

The San Juan Islands Washington are a part of the San Juan Archipelago, an area of sea with a group of many islands. The entire Archipelago includes more than 450 islands at high tide, but only a fraction of those islands are permanently inhabited. Located near the northwestern corner of the United States, the Archipelago has been divided into two groups of islands: the San Juans are part of the United States, specifically Washington state, and the Gulf Islands belong to British Columbia, Canada.

Most of the Islands are quite hilly, the tallest peak being Mount Constitution on Orcas, at almost a half-mile (800 m) in elevation. The coastlines of the Islands include both sandy and rocky beaches, shallow and deep harbors, protected and exposed bays. Fir, pine, cedar and madrona trees cover much of the Islands, with other areas of open fields and grasslands.

For the most part, the islands in the Archipelago are accessible only by private boat, with public ferry service to a handful of islands. Washington State Ferry The BC Ferries travel to nine of the Gulf Islands, and the Washington State Ferry System services Lopez, Shaw, Orcas, and San Juan Island. Skagit County provides a ferry to Guemes Island and the Lummi Island Ferry is with Whatcom County.

San Juan Islands Washington

The following islands are among the many that make up the San Juan Archipelago. Click the links for the geographical and nautical information on these San Juan Islands Washington islands. Jump to Lopez Island Washington, Orcas Island Washington, Crane Island, Cypress Island, Sentinel Island, Yellow Island, Canoe Island, Lummi Island Washington, Saturna Island, Sinclair Island, or Strawberry Island.

The history of the northwest is fascinating. Read a little about the people who lived on these islands before the Europeans arrived, a short account about the explorers, and find out how the islands got the names we use today. Read this condensed lesson in Northwest Washington State History.

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Find out about more of the islands, including the smaller, uninhabited islands. Did you know there are more than 450 islands in the San Juan Archipelago at high tide?

Click the following links to read about some of the other San Juan Islands. Jump to Lopez Island Washington, Orcas Island Washington, Cypress Island, Sentinel Island, Crane Island, Canoe Island, Lummi Island Washington, Saturna Island, Guemes Island, Pender Island, Yellow Island, Sinclair Island, or Strawberry Island.

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