About Us

San Juan Wilderness

In October of 1976 the San Juan Wilderness was established, which added the purposes of the Wilderness Act (Sept. 3, 1964) including “. . . to secure for the American people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness” to all units of the refuge except for Smith, Minor, Turn, Jones Islands, and a small portion of Matia Island.

Note: Bold language is from the original establishing legislation.

The San Juan Wilderness designation includes 80 of the 83 units of the San Juan Islands National Wildlife Refuge. These wilderness islands total 353 acres and include:Aleck Rocks, Bare Island, Barren Island, Battleship Island, Bird Rock, Black Rock, Boulder Island, Brown Rock, Buck Island, Castle Island, Center Reef, Clements Reef, Colville Island, Crab Island, Davidson Rock, Eliza Rock, Flattop Island, Flower Island, Fortress Island, Four Bird Rocks, Gull Reef, Gull Rock, Half Tide Rock, Hall Island, Harbor Rock, Lawson Rock, Little Sister Island, two named Low Island, Matia Island (with the exception of the five acres camping area managed by the Washington State Parks), Mouatt Reef, Mummy Rocks, Nob Island, North Pacific Rock, North Peapod Rocks, Parker Reef, Peapod Rocks, Pointer Island, Puffin Island, Rim and Rum Islands, Ripple Island, Secar Rock, Sentinel Island, Shag Rock, Shark Reef, Skipjack Island, Skull Island, Small Island, South Peapod Rocks, Swirl Island, The Sisters, Three Williamson Rocks, Tift Rocks, Turn Rock, Viti Rocks, White Rocks, and Willow Island, along with various unnamed rocks, reefs, and islands.

For more information about San Juan Wilderness, visit wilderness.net

Jones Island

In 1982 Jones Island was removed from the San Juan Islands NWR and transferred to the State of Washington for use as a public recreation area.

Aids To Navigation

Under executive orders since the mid to late 1800s, and in the Refuge's establishing documents, it was stated that some islands which are now units of the San Juan Islands NWR retain “lighthouse purposes.” These “lighthouse purposes” today translate into a variety of navigation aids which are maintained under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Coast Guard.

San Juan Islands National Wildlife Refuge

 Rocks, Reefs, and Islands in the San Juan Islands NWR 

Our Mission

The mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System is to administer a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management and, where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

Other Facilities in this Complex

  • Dungeness NWR
  • Protection Island NWR
  • Copalis NWR
  • Flattery Rocks NWR
  • Quillayute Needles NWR