We visited Jones Island State Park in the San Juan Islands twice in the Fall of 2019. First for a night in September, and then we visited again for a short day trip in October.
Jones Island is really cool for several reasons. The entire island is a protected marine state park, you can only get to Jones Island by private boat, it’s got a fantastic trail system through and around the island, and is host to several different microclimates that are super fun to explore… not to mention a population of friendly deer which will approach you seeking handouts.
Amenities: Dock, Moorings, Camping at Jones Island State Park
This state park offers 3 (at the time) mooring balls in the southern cove (Beware: when we tied to the mooring ball furthest east in the south cove and backed down on it to check that it would hold our boat, it failed and we were able to actually just drag it along the bottom. We left it and picked up on of the others and it held great.). On the north side of the island, during the spring, summer, and fall, the state park program brings in a nice floating dock. There are also quite a few (at least 5, if I am remembering correctly) mooring balls in that north cove and a little room also for anchoring.
There are nice state park bathrooms ashore at the north cove and pretty decent pit toilet bathrooms at the south cove. There are also primitive bivouac style cabins that can be reserved for camping and quite a few regular camp sites.
Jones Island State Park: September 2019
We visited Jones Island for the first time this year for an overnight stop during one of our vacations while cruising up in the San Juans. We picked up a Washington State Park mooring ball and shared the south cove for the evening with another gorgeous little sailboat by the name is Minstrel.
We were treated to a stunning sunset and had a lot of fun exploring the island. The kids were tickled pink with the friendly deer which approached us hoping for food or treats. We picked tiny apples from the orchard and handed over the bounty to the deer. And the following morning, before taking off and heading up to Stuart Island, we hiked the easy trail around the west side of the island and even spotted a Humpback whale out in the channel!
Jones Island State Park: October 2019
We returned to Jones Island in early October 2019 for a quick day trip over from nearby Deer Harbor on Orcas Island. We had my husband’s parents along for the day and we were pleased to take a spot on the Washington State Park float dock in the Northern cove of Jones Island.
We walked the trail through the middle of the island down to have a picnic lunch on the southern shore. Along the path, we enjoyed finding dozens of different types of mushrooms and photographing them with the kids.
This is definitely one of our favorite small islands to explore and we especially love the different climates to be found on different sides and sections of the island. Highly recommend you check it out for yourself if you ever get the chance!