The Shaw Island Walk

Friday Harbor ferry dock from top level of ferry just before setting sail to lovely little Shaw Island for one of two New Year’s weekend walks!!

Getting There (with this walk, getting there was half the fun!)…

This walk begins at the ferry dock on Shaw Island, Washington. You can park your car at the Anacortes Ferry Terminal for $5.00/day, buy a ticket inside, and off you go. Be sure you’re on the correct ferry as this is a busy place, with many ferries coming and going. Also, be sure you know what time you need to be back at the ferry dock on Shaw Island to catch the ferry back to Anacortes. The ferries to Shaw Island are fairly infrequent compared to the other islands, especially in the winter months. Aaron and I were staying on San Juan Island and caught the smaller inter-island ferry over to Shaw Island in the morning and back to San Juan in the afternoon, which was super fun and added to the adventure!

Early morning in Friday Harbor, WA
Boarding an almost empty inter-island ferry at Friday Harbor bound for Shaw Island.
A couple cars loading the ferry at Friday Harbor.
The unmatched sunrise beauty of the San Juan islands at New Years 2017.
Orcas Island Ferry Dock. Our ferry stopped here on its way to Shaw Island.
Arriving at Shaw Island. The dock has retained an original hand-carved sign over the landing.

Shaw Island…

Washington State Ferries serve four of the 172 named islands of the San Juan Islands: San Juan, Orcas, Lopez, and Shaw. Shaw Island is the baby in size and population. It has a year-round population of about 250. There is a historic general store at the ferry dock (closed for the winter), a post office, and an active community center. In a word, it is idyllic, making it the perfect venue for any walk.

The Walk…

I had a fairly good idea of where we were headed, “from the ferry dock, walk south along Blind Bay until you come to the Community Center, turn left, walk some more until you come to Shaw Island County Park, check out the beach at Indian Cove, then continue, in the same direction, to Squaw Bay, where you’ll see the trail head leading north into the Graham Preserve. Follow the trail through the Preserve back to the Community Center and walk back along Blind Bay to the ferry dock.” And that’s pretty much what we did…easy peasy. A few cars passed as we walked and we met two other walkers, who were on holiday on the island. Other than that, we pretty much had the place to ourselves. Oh, I musn’t forget the two cats at the ferry dock, who entertained and kept us company as we awaited the ferry back to Friday Harbor.

View along Blind Bay. That’s the Orcas Island ferry dock across Harney Channel
Traffic sign along Blind Bay
The junction of Blind Bay Road and Squaw Bay Road at the Community Center
Community Center, Shaw Island, Washington

Beach at Shaw Island County Park, a rustic campground.
Squaw Bay
A curious llama at Squaw Bay…he/she was BIG!
Trailhead marker at Graham Preserve

At the terminus of the trail just behind the Community Center…we’re still trying to figure out where to look when taking selfies! ( :
The warming hut at the ferry dock. It had a heater!
“Open the door or else!”
Our new Shaw Island friend…
Shaw Island Ferry Dock and Marina
Arriving back in Friday Harbor just as the BIG ferry from Victoria BC was leaving on it’s way to Anacortes

This walk could easily be made longer by continuing west on Squaw Bay Road, turning north on Hoffman Cove Road, which brings you back to Blind Bay Road. We were constrained by ferry times and actual hours of daylight, which are few at this time of year in the Pacific Northwest. We’ll save that walk for one of our long summer days perhaps.

Thanks for reading. Happy Walking,

Ann and Aaron





4 thoughts on “The Shaw Island Walk

  1. artmaker85 January 6, 2018 / 6:50 pm

    Hi Ann and Aaron!

    What a beautiful and serene way to spend your New Year’s Day. The scenes are spectacular. As always the Pacific Northwest does not disappoint.

    I could almost feel myself on the walk with you. 😊

    Love, Lynne

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. Julie Selleck January 6, 2018 / 8:16 pm

    Thank you for sharing another adventure. Looks like a great walk and fun getting there and back. 😊 xo

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone


  3. kathietupper January 8, 2018 / 7:34 am

    I have recreated on all the Ferry-accessible Islands EXCEPT Shaw…thanks for sharing this great idea for a winter get-away.


  4. onemassageatatime January 8, 2018 / 7:36 am

    Ann, I love this post and the pictures in particular. What size photos are you using? I am experimenting with that for my own blog.

    I hope you are doing great! I miss you, but man, lives get busy. Take care! Kathie >


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