A short but somewhat steep hike from the south parking lot of Deception Pass bridge will take you to Goose Rock, the highest point on Whidbey Island, WA. At 484 feet, Goose Rock has spectacular views of Deception Pass and the surrounding islands.
But it’s not only the views far away that make the hill unique. At the top of Goose Rock, hikers will find rocky balds, which are characterized by exposed bed rock with sparse patches of thin soil. These balds were left behind by retreating glaciers at the end of the last major glacial period. Beautiful wildflowers dot the balds during spring and summer.
Deception Pass State Park where Goose Rock is located is very popular and often gets crowded. Come early if you want to enjoy some solitude. The park hours are: 6:30 AM-dusk April through September, 8:00 AM-dusk October-March.
From I-5 North in Mount Vernon, take the Highway 20 exit, (exit 230), signed for Burlington/Anacortes. Stay in the left lane and turn left onto Highway 20 west. In 11.4 miles, turn left at the intersection with spur 20 to Anacortes. Your turn will be signed Whidbey Island/Deception Pass.
Continue on 20, crossing the Deception Pass bridge in 6 miles. Limited parking is available on the south side of the bridge. If you find the parking lot that holds approximately 30 cars full, continue for another mile and turn right into Deception Pass State Park. Stay on the lower road, following it along Cranberry Lake to the end, and a large parking lot by the beach. Several routes will take you from here to the top of Goose Rock.