Patos Island may be the most remote island in the San Juan Islands. The exposed position of Patos, Sucia, and Matia along the Strait of George coupled with the long crossings required to get to these islands make this group of islands some of the most beautiful and treacherous in the area. Paddlers should be aware of the potential for being stuck on any of these islands if conditions deteriorate. Patos Island offers a 1.5-mile hiking loop as well as views of the Patos Island Lighthouse and a scenic shoreline to explore during low tides.
Located on Patos Island's far western tip, Alden Point, and first lit as a navigational aid in 1893, Patos Island Lighthouse is the northernmost beacon in the San Juan Islands providing aid for mariners making passage through the Strait of Georgia. The light is also interestingly the subject of a locally well-known personal childhood memoir, The Light on the Island, by Helene Glidden, daughter of Edward Durgan, an early keeper who was stationed at the light between 1905 and 1913. “If ever a book was calculated to recite the wonders of living in the San Juan Islands it is The Light on the Island," wrote the Seattle Times in 1951.
In total, the Puget Sound is home to 19 U.S. lighthouses still standing, not all of which are currently in use. Lighthouses and light stations include (from north to south):