Quote of the Month:

Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own." - Charles Dickens

Shark Reef Sanctuary

Parent Category: Islands
Created: 03 July 2014
Location: San Juan County Parks
Roundtrip of the trail: 1 mile
Elevation Gain: 70 feet
Highest Point: 100 feet
Features: Coast, Wildlife, Cliffs

Good for kids

Dogs allowed on leash

GPS Coordinates: N 48 27.760, W 122 56.240

Dawn to Dusk

Year Round

Photo from North Cascades, Lopez Island, Shark Reef SanctuaryPictures below will take you on a virtual tour along the hike and will easily help you to imagine it!


Photo from North Cascades, Lopez Island, Shark Reef Sanctuary

Shark Reef is located on the south west side of Lopez Island. This beautiful and easy hike takes its’ visitors through the peaceful forest to the rocky cliffs, opening stunning views of San Juan Channel.

The park also offers the opportunity to explore both marine and bird life. Sometimes hikers may see Gray Whale and enjoy the seals.

It should be mentioned that Shark Reef Sanctuary was a military site, but it has been changed into the most spectacular hike.

Photo from North Cascades, Lopez Island, Shark Reef Sanctuary

The main goal for hikers is to find a sunny place and enjoy breathtaking and impressive views. Mount Finlayson is seen across the channel, as well as the highest mountain on the island – Dallas Mountain. If you look south, you will surely enjoy the snow-capped Olympics. Straight ahead you will see wonderful reefs and offshore rocks and Dead-man Island.

Shark Reef Sanctuary got its’ name thanks to a nearby reef. This place is one of the main attractions of the park not only because it is home for sea birds and seals, but also because it opens impressive views.

Photo from North Cascades, Lopez Island, Shark Reef Sanctuary

It should be said that the paths that run through the woods to the cliffs are relatively primitive. No camping, fires and bikes are allowed on the territory of Shark Reef Sanctuary. It will take you only fifteen minutes to get to the main attraction – the rocky cliffs that hang over the water.
Many hikers continue to go down to the water to explore rock formations, tide pools and kelp beds. 


From the Lopez ferry landing

Follow Ferry Road, turn right onto Fisherman Bay Road and drive for about 5 miles. Turn right onto Airport Road and turn left onto Shark Reef Road. Shark Reef Sanctuary will be in about 2 miles.


These pictures were taken on June 13, 2014

In order to get the directions click on the link below:

Photo: Roman Khomlyak

Photo Editing: Pavlo Petryshyn

Information: Marina Petrova

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