Although “sucia” means “dirty” or “foul” in Spanish, the Sucia Island Marine State Park itself is anything but. Named after a nautical term that refers to the many smaller islands and rocks that surround the main horseshoe-shaped landform of Orcas Island, Sucia is beloved for its picturesque views and unique geological features. It is located among the San Juan Islands archipelago, and only accessible by water.
Outer Island Excursions offers day-long guided kayak tours at Sucia Island from mid-April through September. A boat takes kayakers on a quick ride from Orcas Island to Sucia Island, and then groups split off with their guides to enjoy the island’s beauty up close.
Although the island is famous for the rocks and sandstone formations that dot its edges, it is also rich in wildlife. In the spring and early summer months, guides can point out harbor seals, bald eagles and sea birds as paddlers explore the bays, coves and inlets. At lunchtime, groups pull onto the shore and have the option of hiking the island’s trails before returning to the kayaks.
About four hours are spent on paddling, circumnavigating the island during this intermediate- to advanced-level tour, in addition to a few hours of relaxation and exploration on land. Active adults (ages 12 and up) can experience the solitude and charm of Sucia Island, with knowledgeable and experienced guides who provide information and advice.