Deception Pass

Oak Harbor, Washington 98277

Deception Pass

Deception Pass Professional Review and Guide

"Deception Pass offers outstanding beauty that can be explored safely on the fringes of the high-current area in the pass itself. You can also paddle through the pass when currents are weakest if a novice. Beginners should avoid the pass unless certain of correctly identifying the slack current time; there is plenty of easy paddling in areas of little current within view of Deception Pass’ full magnificence.

Experienced paddlers eager to expand their skills can expend some adrenaline practicing in Washington’s strongest currents—crossing eddy lines, developing bracing reflexes in swirls and turbulence, and maybe descending into a whirlpool! Currents mostly average 5 or 6 knots at their maximum, while the occasional strongest ones exceed 8 knots. Speeds rapidly decrease within 0.5 mile of both sides of the pass. Routes in Deception Pass can be combined with those in the Hope and Skagit islands area to the east (see the Hope and Skagit islands chapter). The Cascadia Marine Trail campsite at Bowman Bay also affords the opportunity to make extended trips."

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Trail Information

Oak Harbor
Nearby City
Easy to Difficult
Skill Level
Part Day To Full Day.
Spring to Fall
SeaTrails Wa 101; Noaa charts 18427 (1:25,000) or 18423 SC (see 1:25,000 inset for Deception pass); Deception pass current tables.
Local Maps