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Moran State Park, Olga

(4.8/5 based on 400+ 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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This is a great sunny day activity. We drove up there right after it rained, we drove up to Mt. Constitution. The drive had a very ominous feeling, climbing higher and higher and it was getting very h...  more »
  • Moran State Park has it all - deep, old growth forests, mountain lakes, swimming beaches, miles of trails, and 360 views of the San Juan Islands from atop of medieval keep straight out of Middle Earth...  more »
  • Absolutely beautiful! Between the Ocean, lakes and mountain this place is never short on scenic views.  more »
Google
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • Such a great park. Awesome trails, lakes, views. I've explored almost all the trails here, and they are all worth the effort. One of my favorite parks in the state.
  • Great view from the top of the mount Constitution. Sunset is your best bet.