Orcas Island has been on our radar for a number of years now. The mysterious and romantic name alone beckons a person to want to visit although ironically it was named after a person and not the killer whales that are so prevalent in the San Juan Islands. A day trip to Orcas requires a morning ferry ride with your vehicle from Anacortes which will give you about seven hours to explore the island before returning to catch your ride home. We never get tired of riding ferries through this maze of islands and channels and it was fun to share the experience with our Son Luke who was visiting from Colorado
After departing the Ferry at Orcas we drove north through picturesque ranch land to the village of East Sound before making the horseshoe turn to go south again toward Moran State Park. Within 45 minutes we were taking pictures of the glassy reflections on Cascade lake before driving on to the 2400 ft. summit of Mt. Constitution, the highest point in the San Juan Islands. From there the views of the islands below is breathtaking. The sky was a bit hazy on the day we were there but we could still easily make out Mt. Baker, The North Cascades and a number of high peaks beyond Vancouver, British Columbia. Climbing the steps of the historic stone observation tower was well worth the effort.
Back down at the base of the mountain we stopped at the trailhead for a series of waterfalls known as Cascade, Rustic, Cavern and Hidden. The furthest fall was an easy .6 miles away so all were easily reached. At one point Luke disappeared and a few minutes later we found him stripped down to his shorts standing under the icy cascade of falling water. When it comes to waterfalls and cameras we don’t move quickly and we ended up spending at least a couple of hours appreciating this wildly beautiful setting.
After the falls we had just enough time to take a stroll through the Village of East Sound before driving back to Orcas to get in line for the ferry. We loved our day on the island and we got to see just enough to know that this is a place we want to return to.