Friday Harbor Island encompasses all of the beauty of the Pacific Northwest in one small island. The best of the island's nature and history can be found at the national parks of Friday Harbor.
San Juan National Park
Friday Harbor, Washington 98250
San Juan National Park has a history that dates back to 1859. It was during this year that America and Britain had a boundary dispute on the island. The difference was solved peacefully. A pig was the only casualty of the event, and was then referred to as the Pig War. Today the park preserves the sea, shoreline, prairie and forest that composes the national park. In recent years, the park has been celebrated for its amount of land and the outdoor activities available. The entire park is actually made up of two separate camps. One is located on the southwestern tip of Friday Harbor Island, and the other camp resides on the northwest coast.
The American camp is located on the southern tip of Friday Harbor Island. It is the largest of the two camps and has several more attractions than the English camp. It is also only 6 miles from downtown Friday Harbor and perhaps your Friday Harbor Bed and Breakfast. The 1,220 acre national park includes 5 miles of beaches where visitors can enjoy a pleasant stroll or scan the horizon for Orca whales. Picnic tables, fire pits and restrooms are located nearby for day use only. Numerous hiking trails are available for visitors to explore. These self-guided trails take visitors through areas of historical and environmental significance. Two historical buildings, an unearthed gun emplacement and a cemetery have survived the wear of time. The visitor center focuses on the historical aspect of the National Park, with the display of artifacts and even the Treaty of Oregon. Gifts and a wide variety of books are also for sale. A park employee is available to help with any questions or advice. The visitor center is open daily in the summer from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. During the fall, winter and spring the National Park is open Thursday through Sunday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
The English camp portion of the San Juan National Park is located about 13 miles north of the American camp. The park is made up of 530 acres of land and 2 miles of shoreline. Picnic tables and restrooms are available for day use during the summer. Campfires are not allowed at the English camp. In addition to enjoying the beach, visitors can explore the English camp by means of hiking trails. Guests truly get to see the National Park up close. Booklets for self-guided historical walking tours are available at the beginning of trails. Four restored historic buildings and a cemetery are along several of the hiking trails. An English garden has also been restored. It is a truly striking attraction at the park and a must-see for photographers. The English camp visitor center is only open during the summer. Operating hours are 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. The English camp portion of San Juan National Park is an attraction that will surely steal you away from your Friday Harbor Inn.