• American Camp parade ground looking west

    San Juan Island

    National Historical Park Washington

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  • English Camp Visitor Contact Station on Winter Schedule

    The English Camp visitor contact station in the Royal Marine Barracks is closed for the season, starting September 2. Grounds are open daily from dawn to 11 p.m.

  • American Camp Visitor Center on Winter Schedule

    The American Camp visitor center is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily from September 2 to June 6, 2015. Grounds remain open daily from dawn to 11 p.m. Telephone 360-378-2240, ext. 2227 or 2226 for information. More »

Plan Your Visit

Park Ranger Kim Kennedy conducts a guided walk during the summer season at American Camp.
Mandy Lee Photo

Come and celebrate where Great Britain and United States demonstrated that it is possible for individuals and nations to settle their differences peacefully without resorting to violence.

It was a near run thing in July 1859, when Capt. George E. Pickett landed on San Juan Island with his 60 soldiers intent on protecting the rights of American citizens from British authorities. Fortunately the only being injured in this "Pig War" was the pig.

While the boundary dispute is perhaps the best-known period in island history--and is colorfully interpreted throughout the year--the park today preserves and protects a rich environment of prairie, forest, shoreline and sea that cannot be separated from the area’s 3,000-year human history.

As the largest tract of public land on San Juan Island, the park has more than six miles of public shoreline and is also a primary destination of hikers with a network of trails exploring woodlands,prairie and uplands. As a stop along the Pacific flyway, the park also provides temporary homes for more than 200 species of migratory birds.

Getting to the island to enjoy all these features requires some effort, however, especially during the summer months. These pages provide a starting point for planning your trip. If you have any questions along the way, please contact us via the "Contact" link provided in the left margin of this page.

The Mount Finlayson trail at American Camp offers a splendid view of one of the few surviving native grasslands in the Strait of Juan de Fuca region.
Julia Vouri

Did You Know?


Camas bulbs were so highly prized by Northwest Indians for their creamy potato/baked pear taste that groups sometimes fought over the best growing areas, and people traveled great distances to harvest the bulbs and prepare them into thin, dry cakes. To ensure future harvests, the Indians burned the prairie regularly.