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Deception Pass in Washington

A self-supported trip created by guest-paddler

Trip Overview

Depending on how you time the currents and pick your play area Deception Pass offers some spectacular water! From the Room of Doom on the flood to Canoe Pass this area has something for everyone. A word of caution: even playing here on a moderate exchange (4.5kn) requires aggressive, confident boat control and perhaps a good combat roll.

Canoe Pass is a good place to learn eddy peelouts on the ebb with a few nice bailout points and eddy outs.

The main channel can be downright daunting. You can eddy hop to either end of Pass Island on either tidal exchange or, on the Flood, You can play in the Room of Doom; an overfall with an eddy that'll put you into the barnacle encrusted wall if you're not careful. The Room is for advanced paddlers not afraid to capsize, however! A roll here is mandatory as the eddyline has separated more than a few people from there seat and a few from their boats entirely!

Do not play in these places alone as getting flushed out here can be a ride to Japan, especially if you lose your equipment in a capsize. Also, be sure to know what the tidal exchanges are for the day, both the speed and times or you'll find yourself on the wrong side of the pass with a long walk/wait.

This area REQUIRES prior planning and aggressive, confident boat control and is NOT for novice/beginner kayakers!


There is Camping at Deception Pass State Park and at Bowman Bay. The nearest towns are Anacortes and Oak Harbor, about 20 min in either direction.


There are boat launch fees at Bowman bay, $7.00, please pay it, it helps keep the park going.

Trip Details

  • Skill Level: Advanced
  • Water Type: Open Water/Ocean

Trip Location