Pebble Beach on Orcas Island

Pebble Beach on Orcas Island sunny day
Pebble Beach on Orcas Island

Despite being the largest island in the San Juans, Orcas is a tad slim on public waterfront. But for those in the know, Pebble Beach offers 150 yards of crescent-shaped magic just waiting to be explored.

The waterfront is nestled at the southern tip of the eastern horseshoe. Reaching it requires a Discover Pass and roughly a half-mile hike. It’s a ‘trek’ that would be more appropriately labeled a walk, save for the towering forest, root-covered trail, and well-maintained stairway leading to the shoreline.

The beach is a mere snippet of Obstruction Pass State Park, an 80-acre preserve that’s home to a plethora of hiking trails and a handful of first-come, first-served primitive campsites. But it’s undoubtedly the star. The shores here can feel a bit like finding yourself on a deserted island, as their remote nature makes them less crowded.

Reaching the parking lot includes a drive through Olga. The small Orcas Island hamlet was once one of the island’s top commerce hubs. What was the trade back then? Strawberries. Today, the town is most notably known for the Orcas Island Artworks Gallery. As luck would have it, the gallery is housed in the historic strawberry barreling plant. It is also located by nearby Buck Bay Shellfish Farm. Cell service here is spotty, so be sure to load any directions you need in advance.

There’s no fresh water or food in the park, so if a picnic at Pebble Beach is on the agenda (which is strongly encouraged), be sure to pack accordingly.

More Outdoor Adventures & Hikes in the San Juan Islands