color photo of a gravel road with a rainbow in the center
American Camp was chosen as a military location for its strategic advantages that could have allowed US forces to successfully confront the Royal Navy. Today, visitors are struck with its scenic beauty; on a clear day you can see all the way to Mount Rainier over 130 miles away!

NPS Photo

San Juan Island National Historical Park was created to preserve and protect the places associated with The Pig War and Joint Occupation of San Juan Island in the 1850s-1870s. Long before these military forces clashed in our region, this island and the surrounding region was home to Coast Salish people whose unbroken and ongoing history has indelibly shaped our world. In addition to the historic military structures and spaces remaining from The Pig War, the park also includes an extensive trail network and many unique and special ecosystems. Visitors to our park can walk wild beaches, visit intertidal lagoons, wander Garry Oak savannas, and pay a visit to the largest and best preserved Pacific Northwest Coastal Prairie. Check out these places to get a sense of what awaits you in our park!
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    American Camp Parade Ground

    American Camp was a US military base from 1859-1872. It was chosen for its strategic location and its soaring vistas enchant modern visitors

  • Watercolor illustration of a busy farm with vehicles and outbuildings right beside teh ocean

    The Belle Vue Sheep Farm

    The British Hudson's Bay Company established the Belle Vue Sheep Farm in 1853. American settlement severely impacted its operations.

  • Color photo of a flat area extending out into a splendid vista

    The Redoubt

    The Redoubt is one of the best preserved American fortification from the pre Civil War era west of the Mississippi

  • Color photo of a man foraging in colorful tidepools

    Grandma's Cove

    Grandma's Cove is a short 1/3 mile walk from the American Camp Visitor Center. Its sandy beach is renowned for its tidepools

  • A park ranger points in the distance at something on a beach

    South Beach

    South Beach is the longest stretch of publicly acceptable wild coastline in the San Juan Islands. Visitors may see Orcas, Eagles, and otters

  • Color photo of a man hiking with a dog in front of park signage

    Bell Point Trail

    The Bell Point Trail is a short and level 1.2 mile trail that takes you through the waterfront of English Camp

  • Color photo of a park ranger watching men in red coat uniforms raise an English flag

    English Camp

    The Royal Marines were based at English Camp from 1860-1872. Learn more about their life and history during your visit.

  • Color photo of a military structure on the waterfront

    The Blockhouse

    The Blockhouse guarded English Camp and held the camp's prisoners

  • color photo of a gorgeous hillside with trees and colorful skies at sunset

    Young Hill Trail

    Young Hill is a popular but steep trail that leads to beautiful views of the Salish Sea


Last updated: October 14, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 429
Friday Harbor, WA 98250


360 378-2240

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