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PNNST: Deception Pass Alternate Route



8.6 mile 13.8 kilometer point to point
99% Runnable


Ascent: 340' 104 m
Descent: -369' -113 m
High: 157' 48 m
Low: 10' 3 m


Avg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 17% (10°)


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Trail shared by Isaac Bozeman

An alternate route for the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail: Deception Pass-Keystone.

Isaac Bozeman

Features Birding · Commonly Backpacked · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Spring · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Deception Pass State Park closes at dusk.


This is a way to shorten your run along the PNNST. If you were to take the normal route, you would have traversed 13.4 miles vs 8.7 miles. This trail will take you through sand dunes, forests, beaches, and past an 800-year-old tree. This path will also give you an opportunity to get a great shot of the Deception Pass Bridge.

Need to Know

Keep an eye open for the 800 year old tree at mile 1.7ish.

Runner Notes

Not good for trail runners.


This is an alternate route to the primary Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail-Whidbey Island segment. It takes you through the heart of Deception Pass State Park and requires more running along highway than the main route.

However, this is a great option for a few reasons:
1. Along the route is a Douglas Fir over 800 years old!
2. Fewer people take this route.
3. Along the route is a seasonal produce stand 'The Stand' which is a great local place to stop in.
4. You are closer to traffic, and subsequently safer from two legged sharks (which are not a big problem anyway, but if that is a concern of yours, then this is the route for you).

To start, take the North Beach Trail west all the way to West Point, as the trail winds through the woods paralleling the shore. Once you get to West Point, turn left to cut through the parking lot heading south. Follow the Sand Dunes Interpretive Trail until it turns left; here you should stay straight to continue on the route. You'll follow along the beach for a while before reaching Surfcrest Drive.

Follow the road until you reach an intersection; take a left on Powel Rd, then take a right on Moran Rd. Follow this until it becomes Banta Rd. You'll eventually intersect with SR 20 (State Route 20). Follow the highway until you reach in intersection with Ault Field Rd. You can easily recognize it by the two large planes on display. Take a right and follow instructions for the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail (Deception Pass-Keystone).

Happy trails!

Deception Pass State…

Deception Pass Foundation:

Flora & Fauna

Ferns, dune grass, pines, deer, and more!

History & Background

There used to be a searchlight and guns from the Fort Casey era located on Gun Point and West Point.

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Mar 25, 2018
Ashton Howe

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in Washington


36 Views Last Month
890 Since Jan 9, 2018



Enjoy easy beach access from Deception Pass State Park.
Mar 6, 2017 near Oak Harbor, WA
Looking east.
Nov 10, 2015 near Oak Harbor, WA
Revel in this phenomenal view looking west near the bridge.
Mar 5, 2017 near Oak Harbor, WA
The North Beach Trail is quite steep leading up to the bridge.
Mar 5, 2017 near Oak Harbor, WA
A quick step off the trail onto the beach yields great views towards Deception Pass
Oct 8, 2017 near Oak Harbor, WA
There's an excellent picnic spot close to the parking lot.
Mar 6, 2017 near Oak Harbor, WA


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