San Juan Islands National Wildlife Refuge
Pacific Region



Located in Northern Puget Sound. Best access to the islands is by boat from Anacortes or Friday Harbor. Write for map and regulations.


  • Most smaller islands are nesting and loafing sites for glaucous-winged gulls, cormorants, pigeon guillemots, tufted puffins, rhinoceros auklets, black oystercatchers, and a variety of shorebirds.
  • Harbor seals haul out on several islands.
  • Bald eagles nest.


A group of 83 islands in the San Juan archipelago, totaling 454 acres. Islands are categorized into four major habitat types: reefs, rocks, grassy islands, and forested islands.


  • Wildlife observation, study, and photography are allowed on Matia and Turn islands.
  • Moorage and camping are allowed on Turn Island and on a 5-acre designated campground on Matia Island.
  • 1-mile wilderness trail on Matia Island.
  • All other refuge islands may be viewed from boats, but are closed to public access.
  • Visitors should stay at least 200 yards offshore to avoid flushing adult birds off nests.


Two of the islands (Matia and Turn) have considerable public use and are managed by cooperative agreement with Washington Department of Parks and Recreation. On Matia Island, only 5 acres are considered Marine State Park, with the remaining 140 acres included in the San Juan Islands Wilderness.

Last updated: August 16, 2010