Motors Allowed?
Difficult / Class C
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Stuart Island is considered by many to be one of the most remote and wild islands in the San Juan's. The island is located to the north of Roche Harbor on San Juan Island. Friday Harbor or Roche Harbor are the most obvious starting points for this journey.  The route from Friday Harbor offers a scenic 7-mile paddle up the eastern side of San Juan Island before it leads around Spieden Island on the way to Stuart. The currents and tide rips in both Spieden Channel, specifically around Limestone Point and Green Point, and the small channels between the Cactus Islands can be extremely erratic and powerful. Tide rips form throughout either route in all types of weather, and it is no place for inexperienced paddlers.

The barren southern slopes of Spieden Island offer a great view of some of the exotic wildlife that was brought to the private island in 1969 and has thrived there ever since. European sika deer, Asian fallow deer and Corsican big horn sheep are some of the species that can be seen grazing throughout the island. From the western tip of Spieden, it is a quick trip into Reid Harbor or Prevost Harbor.

The campsites on Stuart Island are broken up between both Reid and Prevost Harbors. The Cascadia Marine Trail sites are located in Reid Harbor, while the rest are located in Prevost Harbor. Stuart Island is a wonderful place to spend several days either taking smaller day trips around John Island or paddling the exposed route to Turn Point Lighthouse. Campers can also hike the 2.5 miles (one way) to Turn Point Lighthouse along the county road through beautiful forests with views of Mount Baker.

Puget Sound Lighthouses

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):

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


Secluded. Great views. Hiking opportunities. Day paddle opportunities.


Access can be difficult. No potable water.


Backcountry camping
Picnic tables
Whale watching
Bird watching

Site characteristics: Water


Portage required




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