Camano Island State Park

Back in 2021, I booked a cabin at Camano Island State Park for January 2022. Someplace to go for my birthday weekend. But that didn’t happen. It’s kind of a thing, that I book cabins and then rebook them, and then maybe don’t even go. I’m a sucker for packing our calendar and then when it comes time to do whatever, all I want to do is stay home. Camano Island, case in point. I rescheduled for November.

Come November, our schedule was different than it was back in January when I rescheduled, throwing off the days I booked—Thursday through Saturday. Laine now has practice Fridays. And Blaise was taking a mountain biking class Thursday evenings. Not that that mattered, Blaise ended up being sick the days before and still feeling blah Thursday night, missing his mountain biking class anyway. On top of that, Brian and I spontaneously bought a new couch in September, and it was set to be delivered Saturday. We had our sitter, whom we use a handful of times each year, and we had planned to hike. But the smoke. We ended up buying a new couch and dining room table. The exciting things parents of five kids do on the rare occasions they’re kiddo-free.

Instead of cancelling Camano or rescheduling again, we made the call to go up for Friday only. We arrived mid-morning and left after dark. Our friends were going also, staying in the cabin next to the one we booked. And it turns out, we made the absolute right call only going for the day—there was an awful windstorm. This was our cabin Saturday morning (we were long gone).

Because TikTok’s algorithms are on point, this was on my FYP not long after. The poster mentioned he was on Camano Island, and the dates match. Crazy! I’m glad he and his pup are okay.


Friday morning we left home with a minimal load in the car. Enough food for lunch and s’mores; camping chairs; firewood; and beach toys. It was a rainy day and we had the kiddos dress in all their outdoor school gear. Being an outdoor school family sure makes rainy days easy! We left around 8:30am, stopped by the store for a few supplies, and hit the road for Camano Island. It’s about a two hour drive, maybe a bit shorter when it’s not dumping rain.

The drive is pretty, like everything PNW. Green and trees galore, with the bonus of the Puget Sound surrounding Camano Island. We arrived at the park close to 11am, and drove the road down to the water to see what it’s all about. We eventually parked at the cabin we booked, which is really nice. The first state park cabin we’ve stayed in that has a full-size fridge; there is also a microwave (we’ve had one in cabins before). The small cabin loop at the park has maybe five or six cabins along a half-moon road, with a restroom/shower building in the middle. The park also has tent and RV sites, and they were mostly empty. We quickly unpacked our small load from the car and settled right in for the day.

The kids were getting hungry. Brian took on making lunch while Blaise, Laine, and I hit the trail down to the beach with our friends. Well, we started on the trail and then ended up on the road. It’s a bit of a hike down, nothing terrible, maybe a half-mile? There are trails down or the road is walkable. I imagine in better weather, the road is busier. But it was dead this day; we only saw one car on the main road.

The beach is very similar to Kayak Point. Rocky. It’s a beach and I like it and all, but it’s not a true beach in my Native Californian book. Sand, sand makes a true beach to me. But still beautiful in its own right. I do appreciate all the driftwood. I’d love to know the story behind it all. Like where did it come from, how long was it where it was before, how long did it take to get on the beach, what route did it take, how long has it been on the beach… all the questions. We walked a good mile or so down the shore, and then back. There was one couple with a cute pup we passed, and that was all. It was quiet. It felt like we had the entire beach to ourselves.

Blaise and Laine were getting hungry, back to the cabin we went. We took the trail back up instead of the road. Brian and the three younger gals were hanging out at the cabin. The girls found a huge puddle alongside the cabin while Brian got the fire going to roast hotdogs, and set up all the sides on the cart he pulled out from the cabin. It was officially lunchtime.

The kids all roasted hot dogs and ate around the outside of the cabin. Of course they wanted marshmallows right after. And since we weren’t staying for dinner or long past dark, we let them go for s’mores. We spent a few hours hanging around the cabin, chatting and catching up with our friends while the kiddos played around. It was super cold. Maybe it wasn’t? The cold is really getting to me these last two winters.

All fed and s’mored up, we decided to head back down to the beach with almost everyone. Brian and the younger three hadn’t been down yet, other than our initial drive when we first arrived. Laine and her buddy stayed behind to hang out. They hadn’t seen each other in a few months and wanted to chat it up.

This time, we found a spot on some driftwood to hang. We spent about an hour or so there before sunset approached. Knowing it was going to be dark soon—and with the rain and wind starting up—we went back up the trail again to the cabin. It was time to call it a day. Brian and I loaded the car, cleaned the small mess we made around the cabin, said our goodbyes to our friends, and pulled out just after dark. It was getting really windy as we left. After a quick stop for dinner, we drove back home. The wind really picked up, even in Carnation. All the trees on the hill behind our house were whipping around like crazy. We even heard a few branches snap.

Everyone was tried and we settled into our standard evening routines. It was good to be home. And warm. Another state park cabin trip down, even if only for the day.

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