• American Camp parade ground looking west

    San Juan Island

    National Historical Park Washington

Nature & Science


Marine Mammals
Birds and Birding

Wildflower Guide
Island Marble Butterfly

Climate Change Symposium
Prairie Stewardship Guide


Research Research Permits

Inventory & Monitoring Vital Signs

Ecosystem Restoration Volunteer

Prescribed Fire Water Quality

Chocolate lilies at American Camp

Chocolate lilies grace the ramparts of Robert's Redoubt at American Camp.

Mike Vouri

With 2,134 acres and nearly seven miles of saltwater shoreline, San Juan Island National Historical Park protects the most extensive public saltwater access in the San Juan Archipelago, which includes more than 800 islands, islets, rocks, and reefs, and 370 miles of tidelands. North of Puget Sound, the San Juan Islands lie between Canada’s Vancouver Island, the Strait of Georgia, the inland coast of northwest Washington State, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

The environmentally sensitive coastal areas of the San Juan Islands are regarded as among the most diverse—and fragile—marine ecosystems in the world, and are especially significant given the rich terrestrial and water resources.

In the park’s two units on San Juan Island—American Camp on the southern tip and English Camp in the northwest—you’ll find a diverse landscape, from seaside bluffs and marine lagoons to evergreen forests and stands of Garry oak. In spring native wildflowers blanket the dramatic open prairie of American Camp as well as the trails throughout English Camp. Wildlife ranges from Orca whales and bald eagles to over 200 species of birds and 32 species of butterflies, including the rare Island Marble butterfly.


Climate Change Scientists Coming to San Juans

San Juan County residents and visitors will have an opportunity to learn more about the impacts of climate change through a dynamic speaker series scheduled June through September in venues in Friday Harbor, as well as on Orcas and Lopez Islands.

The Climate Action Imperative: Understanding Impacts & Making Choices will feature eight experts on the topic—from oceanographers to botanists, biologists to meteorologists. The series will provide a current look at climate change and what actions are warranted by individuals as well as by our state and nation, according to Ron Zee of the Madrona Institute, a co-sponsor of the series. Lee Taylor, superintendent of San Juan Island National Historical Park, another co-sponsor, emphasized the dramatic ecosystem changes National Parks are experiencing.

"The impacts of climate change on national parks are immediate and real--rising sea level, ocean acidification, and increased wildfire to name just a few," Taylor said. "We need to increase our resilience to these changes here in the Islands and beyond."

All talks are free and scheduled for 7 p.m. at different venues (see list below). Please call 360-378-2240, ext. 2227 or 2228 for information. A concluding session on September 10 will feature State Senator Kevin Ranker, a leading legislative advocate for climate action, along with special guests.

Steller sea lions are occasional visitors to South Beach and the rocky pocket coves along the American Camp shoreline.
Chris Davis

Did You Know?