You are here

Sandy beach
Cliff jumping
Hike-in Required
Sensitive Habitat
Please respect the outdoors and leave no trace. One tip how to dispose of waste properly: Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products. For more information, visit

Deception Pass State Park is primarily known for its beaches, but Cranberry Lake is an important addition to the park. It's much warmer than the adjacent West Beach (on the Pacific Ocean), which makes it ideal for a dip in summer. The western shore of the lake has a designated swim area and restrooms. You may find a curious otter swimming alongside you. The east side of the lake is more geared toward fishing and boating. Only human-powered or electric motor boats are allowed in the lake, which in theory makes the lake more restful, but for the noisy fighter jets in training. Picnic shelters and a dock are also present on the eastern shore.

At one point, Cranberry Lake was a saltwater inlet. The retreating Cordilleran Ice Sheet created a basin about 15,000 years ago, which filled with ocean water. Over time, sand dunes built up a divide between the lake and West Beach. Some saltwater still exists in the depths of the lake.  

Cranberry Lake got its name from its history as a cranberry bog used by settlers.

Logistics + Planning

Parking Pass

Washington Discovery Pass


Comparatively warm water. Designated swimming area.


Crowded in summer. Noise from fighter jets.


Deception Pass State Park
Oak Harbor, WA 98277
United States


Field Guide


Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.