San Juan Island’s Cattle Point is located on Cape San Juan, which is the southeastern tip of the island. At this location you will find the Cattle Point lighthouse, which was built in 1935. Thanks to the dramatic backdrop of the Olympic Mountains, the Salish Sea, and a number of nearby islands, this is one of the most photographed lighthouses in the state of Washington. The lighthouse itself is still active and helps to guide vessels entering the Haro Strait and San Juan Islands from the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Exploring the rocky shorelines at Cattle Point, you’ll find numerous tide pools filled with starfish, crabs, jellyfish washed ashore, and numerous eagles and other birds of prey. Looking out to the sea from Cattle Point, you’ll likely see an assortment of wildlife from orcas and sea lions to seals and porpoises.
Cattle Point is available for day-use only. The interpretive area at the small parking lot includes a picnic area with a shelter and restrooms, beach access, and hiking trails with viewpoints. The location received its name in the mid 1800s when the Hudson’s Bay Company utilized a dock here to unloaded cattle and other livestock.
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):