This next hike combines beaches, rugged cliffs, and a nearly 200-foot tall bridge; the gateway from the mainland to Whidbey Island, and it is Deception Pass.
Highway 20 gets you there off of I-5. As soon as you round that last wooded corner and break out into the open, you know you’re someplace special. The quarter mile long Deception Pass Bridge offers expansive views in both directions.
You can get a more personal look out on the pedestrian walkway, but be warned: those first initial steps onto the bridge can be a little shaky. A knee-high guard rail combined with gusty wind and an 180-foot drop? I made it about 20 steps before turning back!
Just beneath the bridge lies a very well-marked trail that takes you to several beaches. The first stop about a quarter mile down the trail happens to be one of the most scenic. The rocky North Beach gives you an up-close look at the fast-moving tidal waters surging through the pass. On a busy day, you can sit and watch boats struggle through the strong tides and strong variable wind.
The view of the bridge from the beach below is spectacular!
The trees in this part of Washington are massive. You can easily lose yourself looking up and wondering just how long it took for them to reach that high.
About a mile from the Deception Pass Bridge parking lot and you arrive at West Beach overlooking Puget Sound. It’s a nice way to wrap up your hike, watching jets land and take off from the Naval Air Station, and maybe skipping a couple of rocks before turning back.