Top 3 Reasons for Sailing to Hope Island

Sailing to Hope Island gets you up close to the Salish Sea in Northwestern Washington State. Our voyage on SV Moku Makani, a 1982 Catalina 30 I purchased 3 years ago. I took a few days off to explore the Salish Sea and headed up to Hope Island in the Deception Pass State Park area off Whidbey Island.

I am privileged to experience the beauty of nature up close, and with this privilege comes the responsibility to protect the marine ecosystems we cherish. Deception Pass State Park in the Pacific Northwest is a testament to nature’s grandeur. In this blog post, we’ll embark on a conservation-driven journey to Hope Island, a hidden gem within Deception Pass State Park. Let’s explore the delicate balance between our love for sailing and our commitment to preserving the pristine beauty of this ecological haven.

1. The Ecological Wonder of Deception Pass State Park

Deception Pass State Park is a natural wonderland boasting rugged cliffs, lush forests, and a network of marine and land ecosystems. Every inch of this park teems with life, from the intricate tide pools to the majestic old-growth forests. However, it is essential to recognize that our presence on land and water can have a lasting impact on this delicate environment.

With a “Leave No Trace” mindset, we set sail for Hope Island. This conservation ethic reminds us to minimize our impact on the environment while enjoying our time on the water. Make sure to properly dispose of any waste, refrain from disturbing wildlife, and avoid dropping anchors in ecologically sensitive areas. By being mindful sailors, we can protect the natural beauty of Deception Pass for generations to come.

2. The allure of Hope Island

Sunset at Hope Island- Beyond the Salish Sea

Hope Island, a captivating destination for sailors and boaters, is home to old-growth forests with walking trails and primitive campsites. It’s only accessible by boat and is a popular destination for kayakers. As an inland marine state park in Skagit County, its dense forests and pristine shoreline habitats support the region’s biodiversity. Take the time to learn about the island’s flora and fauna before setting foot ashore. Remember, our actions, even unintentional ones, can have a profound effect on these ecosystems.

While exploring Hope Island, stick to designated paths and campsites. Trampling off-trail can disturb fragile vegetation and disturb wildlife habitats. The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission has worked tirelessly to create sustainable recreational opportunities in the park. By following these guidelines, we can protect the island’s pristine environment and contribute to its preservation.

Preserving Hope Island’s natural beauty starts with respecting its untouched state. When you visit, resist the urge to collect souvenirs or disturb natural formations. Leave shells, rocks, and plants where they belong so that future generations of sailors can appreciate the island’s unspoiled allure.

3. A long journey by Sailboat

Everett Marina on the Salish Sea

Hope Island is about 40 miles from our homeport of Everett, WA. Unfortunately, we only sailed for about an hour on our 8-hour journey, Sailboats don’t tend to go very fast, and Moku Makani has a very small 11-hp diesel engine that sips fuel with an average speed of 5 knots.
Traveling North through the Saratoga Passage, I was amazed at how many homes are built on the beaches and cliffs of Gedney, Camano, and Whidbey Islands. I couldn’t help but wonder what will come of these homes as sea levels rise and our weather becomes more disruptive and turbulent.

As sailors who have been touched by the beauty of the Salish Sea, we can also give back to its preservation. Consider supporting local conservation organizations or volunteering for beach clean-ups and ecological restoration projects. By actively participating in conservation efforts, we become stewards of this unique ecosystem and contribute to its protection.


Sailing to Hope Island in Deception Pass State Park is a privilege and a unique opportunity to connect with nature’s splendor. However, with this privilege comes the responsibility of preserving delicate ecosystems for future generations. By adopting a conservation-minded approach to our sailing adventures, we can ensure that Hope Island and the surrounding area remain a haven of biodiversity and natural beauty. Let us sail with purpose and passion, protecting the very environment that has brought us so much joy and inspiration. Together, we can make a difference in safeguarding the Salish Sea and beyond.

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