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Moran State Park, Olga

Categories: State Parks, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.8/5 based on 380+ reviews on the web
Moran State Park is the fourth largest state park in Washington, United States. Located on Orcas Island in the middle of the San Juan Islands in Puget Sound, Moran State Park encompasses over 5,000 acres of various terrain including forests, wetlands, bogs, hills, and lakes. It is the largest public recreation area in the San Juan Islands. Mount Constitution (elevation ) is a focal point of the park at the highest point in San Juan County.HistoryThe land for Moran State Park was donated to the state in 1921 by Seattle mayor and shipbuilder Robert Moran. Due to poor health, Moran moved to Orcas Island and between 1906 and 1909 built his estate, naming it Rosario. Wood and stone material found on the island were used to construct the estate's houses and buildings.In August 1935, 28 men from the 4768th Company of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) begin constructing a stone observation tower atop 2,409-foot Mount Constitution in Moran State Park on Orcas Island. Designed by noted Seattle architect Ellsworth Storey (1879-1960), the tower is the literal and figurative high point of eight years of work by crews from the CCC's Camp Moran. The observation tower sits at the highest point in the San Juan Islands and is boasted as the second best marine view in the western hemisphere behind Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.The former Moran estate is privately operated as Rosario Resort and Spa and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Rosario mansion features a museum honoring Robert Moran, complete with original furnishings. The mansion's music room is home to a 1913 34-rank Aeolian pipe organ and 1900 Steinway grand piano, both of which are still played for visitors today. The Civilian Conservation Corps built many of the park's trails, roads, bridges, and buildings during the 1930s.
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  • We have been to this park before. The pine trees, moss and ferns make it beautiful rain or shine. This time we hiked Mountain Lake Trail to the Twin Lakes trail and back. It was about 2.6 miles round ...  read more »
  • I've been up to Mount Constitution 3 times now and every time I find the view jaw dropping - I love the view out over the islands, Bellingham Bay and Vancouver. Worth the trip to Orcas Island all by i...  read more »
  • Easy to drive to the top; beautiful park! Lots of deer everywhere. A great place to picnic, spend the day, take short hikes. 
  • This place is a very calm and relaxing area. Located on Orca's Island, it's very away from the city and you can really feel it once you land on the island. The drive is about 30 minutes from the ferry, but once you get to Moran State Park, there are plenty of activities for families to do. There are lakes, as well as the Sound to play around in the water. Great looking camp sites, though I've never camped here yet (keyword: yet), I would love to camp here. There are also some great short hikes which leads to beautiful waterfalls. One in particular that we went to was Cascade Falls. Be sure to look for signs for Cascade Falls and not Cascade Lake. I've never been to the latter, but the Falls is quite spectacular. The hike is only about 0.2 miles and about a 75-100ft decline/incline. The trail is pretty easy, but there are lots of roots along to be careful of. Once you get to the bottom, you have to go through a few climbs and logs, but you can get some beautiful shots, especially if you have an ND filter with slow shutter. The waterfall wasn't large, and for reference, we were there in late July with temperatures at 70 degrees. Beautiful place!
  • Beautiful and calm, this place is on the ocean where you can see water planes take off every hour or so. two or three (kinda overpriced) restaurants nearby. Nice boat launch. Cool spot, worth a relaxing afternoon.
  • Beautiful, serene park. We enjoyed going to the top of the mountain, cascade falls, and the gorgeous lake. We kayaked along the lake and loved seeing fish swimming in the crystal clear water. The entire park was very clean and had beautiful foliage. There were many bicyclists going up and down the mountain (which is slightly scary, considering the mountain roads are pretty narrow). Fishing and swimming was popular at the lake. We saw plenty of hikers, too.
  • This park is fabulous. We had a site right on the lake, which was wonderful swimming except for the weed that is a transplant from somewhere else and is taking over. But the sites are clean, the nearby town is super cute, the bathrooms nearby are functional with pay showers. Nearby you can go do a clothing optional hot tub at Doe Bay. Local ice cream from Lopez Island is within reach as well. The hikes are great, not too hard.
  • Hikes. Views. Waterfalls. Deep forests. A nature lovers playground. Wish I had a few days to explore the whole park!!! I only had a few hours on orcas island and chose to do the mount constitution. The view is amazing. There are some interpretive signs, a tiny gift shop, and a learning center in the old station building. Hiked down to the cascade falls. The hike guide says it is an easy hike. I think it's more moderate with lose footing and steep steps. It is worth the hike to the bottom to get a great view of the falls and the woodland creek. Not a magnificent falls, but it is a beautiful trail and the falls are pretty.
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