We started our summer early at Bowman Bay camping and checking out the surrounding areas. We had the best time and the campground was beautiful & empty… It almost felt like private camping! Loved watching the kids be wild & free running around in nature, but the best part was cuddling close to stay warm at night.
Here’s the full gallery of our trip:
Bowman Bay Campgrounds
Bowman Bay is a beautiful campgrounds that is well taken care of. Each campsite is inspected and any trash picked up by the caretakers soon after people leave. The bathroom was clean and there is one coin shower in the Women and Men’s bathrooms. There is fire wood for purchase or you may go to a near by gas station.
The public areas are lush and look out to Bowman Bay. At sunset, we recommend using one of the fire pits near the beach and enjoying the view. Or relax on a pinic bench and look for Orcas. There is also a kids playground.
Brain Food for Kids
We took Amalin out of school for this camping trip. So we always make sure to include fun learning activities. We bought a bow drill to make a fire on our own, but the campsite and wood was too damp (So our goal it to start our own fire with sticks during our next camp trip.) While in La Conner for lunch we bought a paint set from one of their many curiousity stores and the kiddos had a great time painting the different types of wildlife and plants.
#278 Campsite at Bowman Bay
I was pleasantly surprised when we arrived to the campsite. A few weeks before, we went to Lake Wenatchee Campgrounds, and the campsites were very crowded. On the contrary, Bowman Bay campsites were private and tucked back into the wilderness. It was in a shady area so in June, it was on the colder side and a bit moist and fires look longer to get started.
Bowman Bay Weather in June
In early June, Bowman Bay was about 10 degrees colder than Kirkland or the Seattle area. During our stay the temperature was 70 high and 49 low. #278 campsite is in a shady area, so it did feel colder than other parts. In the middle of the night and mornings, it was very cold and even though we brought 8 blankets, we still needed to hug each other to stay warm. However, all that snuggling was also one of the best memories there. We even used a heater to get the tent warm before sleeping.
We enjoy spontaneity, so when we seen an available campsite for 2 days we booked it immediately and drove there the next day! There are only 20 campsites at this location, so even when it is full, it is not crowded at all. But once school it out, it is booked up. Our campsite was #278, which was next to the mountain and very private. The best campsite here is without question #280 and needs to be booked 9 months in advance unless you are lucky. It has sweeping water views of Bowman Bay and Deception Island. When the Orcas are around, you can watch them while sitting next to your campfire. Another good campsite is #279. For groups, I recommend #287, #288 & #289, but these are first come first serve and not reservable.
Here is a link to make reservations: https://washington.goingtocamp.com/DeceptionPassStatePark/BowmanBay(271-290)?Map
What to do in the area
This is a beautiful location with lots to do near by.
– Explore Bowman Bay
– Watch Orcas from the dock.
– Walk to the Light out with sweeping views of Deception Pass
– Walk across Deception Pass Bridge
– Walk down to Deception Pass Beach
– Explore Rosario Beach
– Go to La Conner for Lunch and Shopping (30 mins away)
Beware of Cow Parsnip at Bowman Bay!
Cow Parsnip is found in these areas. These plants are 4 feet high and 4 feet wide and if touched and exposed to sun, it can cause severe burns, blisters and permanent scarring! We had no idea what this was until Chris saw a sign about it on the bulletin board. We have 2 children ages 1.5 and 3 years old, so we searched our campsite and found a huge Cow Parsnip plant near the driveway of our campsite. The kids were rolling a toy truck down the driveway near the same area, so we were relieved that we actually seen the bulletin! Luckily it was not touched. We decided the best thing to do was to park our van to block it. I also saw a bunch of these cow parsnip plants a the hiking trail with no sign to warn unknowing visitors!
Also, please take a look at our San Juan Island article. It is a great add on when visiting Deception Pass and Bowman bay as the Anacortes ferry terminal is very close: