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Deception Pass and Around

Updated: Oct 26, 2023

Deception Pass - Rockpool Taran kayak

Don't underestimate Deception Pass. The tidal currents regularly top 9 knots and when the flow is against strong winds creates large standing waves.

Depending on when and from where you arrive you may have to wait for the tide to be in the same direction you are paddling.

If you are in the bay side, then you can wait it out at the Deception Pass Marina where you can pull out, or use their boat ramp a little down the road. You can also pull out or camp at Cornet Bay Resident Campground. Call ahead and see if they have room 360 679 2482. Your other option is to camp on Hope Island two miles into the bay.

If you are on the Juan de Fuca Side, then your best option is to go the Deception Pass Camp which has good facilities, and you can either pitch a tent or rent a cabin. The pull out point is also near by on the beach.

If you spend the day at Deception Pass Park, I recommend walking to the bridge and taking a look to see what you are about to get into.

When you do cross deception pass be aware that there is a long island in the middle of the passage. The south side is wider and less treacherous, but also sees all the boat traffic. The north side is narrower, rougher, and more tortuous, but normally only kayaks go through there.

Once you commit to one side, there is no going back. Either side you go, you will see plenty of boils and whirlpools. If the weather is calm, these are fun to ride and get taken for a spin.

Below is a YouTube video from Reg lake which you can see how crazy things can get on a rough day with wind against the tide.

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