Plan Your Visit

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San Juan Islands National Wildlife Refuge provides visitors with a unique opportunity to experience an island environment. Taking the time to learn more about the Refuge before you visit will help you to get the most out of your journey.


What you need to know before you go:
Two islands in San Juan Islands National Wildlife Refuge are open to the visiting public. Campgrounds on Turn Island and Matia Island are managed by cooperative agreement with Washington State Parks. Turn and Matia Island State Parks are open to camping and moorage year round, from 6:30 a.m. to dusk in the summer and from 8 a.m. to dusk in the winter. Quiet hours are from 10 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. No generators may operate between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. The Refuge does not charge fees, however both State Parks charge moorage and camping fees.

All other rocks, reefs, and islands within San Juan Islands National Wildlife Refuge are closed to public visitation. A 200-yard buffer zone is enforced around them to protect nesting, resting, and feeding birds. Consult a refuge map for a general overview of the islands contained within this refuge. "Rocks, Reefs, and Islands within San Juan Islands National Wildlife Refuge" gives a detailed description of the lands administered by this refuge. Maps of Turn and Matia Islands give an overview of camping and hiking opportunities available.

Getting There: 
San Juan Islands National Wildlife Refuge is located in Northern Puget Sound. Best access to the islands is by boat from Anacortes or Friday Harbor. Several of the Refuge islands can be viewed from Washington State Ferries that traverse the area.

Matia Island is reachable only by boat. It is located 2.5 miles north of Orcas Island and 1.5 miles east of Sucia Island. The closest launch sites are in Blaine, Obstruction Pass on Orcas Island, Squallicum Harbor in Bellingham, and in Anacortes.

Turn Island is also reachable only by boat. The closest access point is Jackson Beach on San Juan Island. The closest "mainland" access is Washington Park in Anacortes.