Spencer Spit: Overview
Park overview:Spencer Spit State Park is a 138-acre marine and camping park situated on Lopez Island in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The park is named for the lagoon-enclosing sand spit on which it rests.
Want to support Washington State Parks? Get involved by joining a friends' group. For more information, visit the Friends' Group web page.
Summer: 8 a.m. to dusk.
Winter: Closed Oct. 27, reopens Feb. 28.
Camping: Check-in time, 2:30 p.m.
Check-out time, 1 p.m.
Quiet hours: 10 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.
Don't move firewood: Please protect the Pacific Northwest from invasive species by obtaining or purchasing your firewood at or near your camping destination (within 50 miles). Firewood can carry insects and diseases that threaten the health of our western forests. You can make a difference by buying and burning your firewood locally. For more information, visit online at www.dontmovefirewood.org or the Washington Invasive Species Council website.
Annual pass: $30
One-day pass: $10
(Transaction and dealer fees may apply)
A Discover Pass is required for motor-vehicle access to state parks and recreation lands managed by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources.
Exemptions: Your purchase of the Discover Pass supports recreation on state lands. However, the Discover Pass is not required if you are camping or renting overnight accommodations, for the duration of your stay at that state park. For additional exemptions and more information, please visit the Discover Pass website.
Campsite Information:The park has 37 tent spaces, one dump station and two restrooms. There are no showers or hookups. Seven hiker/biker sites are available, as well as Cascadia Marine Trail sites. Most of the park's tent sites are large and private. Seven walk-in beach sites have limited privacy. Campers may enter the grounds until 10 p.m. To make a reservation, visit online or call (888) CAMPOUT or (888) 226-7688.
Group Accommodations:The park provides three group camps. G1 accommodates up to 24 guests and has three walk-in sites, one of which is an Adirondack (three-sided) shelter with eight bunks. G2 accommodates up to 50 guests and has 10 walk-in sites with a grassy common area. G3 is for tent camping only and accommodates up to 24 guests. The site includes a kitchen shelter with electrical outlet, water spigot and three picnic tables. There is a pedestal barbeque and a fire pit. This site accommodates a kitchen trailer, six tents and four vehicles. To make a reservation, visit online or call (888) CAMPOUT or (888) 226-7688.
2013 camping fees:
Please note that the following general fee information is not customized for each individual park, so not all fees will apply to all parks (for example, primitive campsite and dump station fees listed apply only to parks that have primitive campsites and dump stations).
May 15 – Sept. 15 (peak season)
Primitive campsite and water trail camping: $12
Standard campsite: $23 non-premium site, $26 premium site
Partial-utility campsite*: $30 non-premium site, $35 premium site
Full-utility campsite*: $32 non-premium site, $37 premium site
*Please note: Camping fees during the 2013 peak season are $28 for partial-utility sites and $29 for full-utility sites at Beacon Rock, Lewis & Clark and Schafer state parks. These parks are first come, first served.
Jan. 1 – May 14 and Sept. 16 – Dec. 31 (off-peak season)
Primitive campsite and water trail camping: $12
Standard campsite: $22 for non-premium and premium sites
Partial-utility campsite: $28 for non-premium and premium sites
Full-utility campsite: $29 for non-premium and premium sites
2014 camping fees:
For specific campsite prices, please visit the camping reservation website.
|Primitive and water trail campsites||$12||$12||$12|
|Standard campsites||$20 to $31||$20 to $29||$17 to $25|
|Partial-utility campsites||$30 to $39||$27 to $38||$26 to $32|
|Full-utility campsites||$32 to $42||$29 to $40||$27 to $35|
Note: Peak, shoulder and winter season dates vary by park. See listing of seasons by park.
Maximum eight people per campsite.
Second vehicle: $10 per night is charged for a second vehicle unless it is towed by a recreational vehicle. Extra vehicles must be parked in designated campsite or extra vehicle parking spaces.
Dump stations (if available): Year-round dump station fees are $5 per use. If you are camping, this fee is included in your campsite fee.
More about park hours
Check-in time is 2:30 p.m., and check-out time is 1 p.m.
Quiet hours are from 10 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.
Engine-driven electric generators may be operated only between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.
Length of stay: You may stay up to ten consecutive days in any one park from April 1 through Sept. 30; the stay limit is extended to 20 days between Oct. 1 and March 31.
To view campsites and facilities reservable at this park, visit the reservation system and campsite maps.
The park has a reputation for excellent crabbing, clamming and "car-top boating." This is one of the few state parks in the San Juan Islands that is accessible by automobile. A sand spit encloses a saltchuck lagoon.
HistoryAs Native American tribes migrated up and down the coast, they stopped at Spencer Spit to clam, crab and fish before moving on. Native American activity continued until 1946.
Spencer Spit was homesteaded in the late 1800s by a family named Troxell. It was eventually sold to the Spencers who lived on the property for 50 years. State Parks bought the property in 1967.
Interpretive opportunitiesThe park offers a Junior Ranger interpretive program from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
|Available in the park||Available in the area|
|• Camping||• Auto repair|
• Boat rental
• Marine supplies
• Overnight Accommodations
• Pay phone
• Postal service
The island is serviced by Lopez Island Medical Center.
|• 2 mi. Hiking Trails||• Boating (saltwater)|
• Fishing (saltwater)
• Swimming (saltwater)
|• Beach Exploration|
• Bird Watching
• 1 Fire Circle
• Wildlife Viewing
Kayak and bike rentals and tours:
A recreational license is required for fishing and shellfish harvesting at Washington state parks. For regulations, fishing season information or to purchase a recreational license, visit the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife website.
2014 State Parks free days:
Jan. 19 and 20 – In honor of Martin Luther King Day
March 19 – In honor of Washington State Parks' 101st birthday
April 19 – A spring Saturday free day
April 22 – Earth Day
May 11 – A spring Saturday free day
June 7 and 8 – In honor of National Trails Day and WDFW Free Fishing Weekend
June 14 – National Get Outdoors Day
Aug. 25 – In honor of National Park Service’s birthday
Sept. 27 –National Public Lands Day
Nov. 11 – Veteran's Day weekend
Please note: A Discover Pass is still required to access lands managed by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife during State Parks free days. For more information, please visit www.discoverpass.wa.gov.
Find other events at Washington State Parks
Boating FeaturesThere are seven mooring buoys on the Cascadia Marine Trail. All buoys are on the north side of the spit. No buoys are available on the south side.
Moorage fees are charged year round for mooring at docks, floats and buoys from 1 p.m. to 8 a.m.
Moorage permits are available at parks offering moorage. For information, call (360) 902-8844.
Picnic and Day-use FacilitiesThe park provides two kitchen shelters without electricity and 15 unsheltered picnic tables. The kitchen shelter includes four picnic tables, a barbecue grill and fire pit. Water is available nearby. Picnic tables with fire pits are located on the spit, and the beach site has six picnic tables. To make a reservation, visit online or call (888) CAMPOUT or (888) 226-7688.
There is no garbage service to the park. Visitors must pack-out what they pack-in.
|Mammals||Birds||Fish & Sea Life|
• Deer or Elk
|• Crows or Ravens|
• Sea Birds
|Physical Features||Plant Life||Special|
|Spencer Spit is an example of a sandspit enclosing a saltchuck lagoon. The spit was formed over a long period of time by the action of wind and tide. The spit is constantly changing. Eventually, it could fill with sediment and lose all its water.||• Cedar|
• Douglas Fir
• Eel Grass
• Moss or Lichens
|The stone cellar of the old Spencer house can be seen near the spit. A replica of the original log cabin built by the Spencers for guests is out on the tip of the spit.|