Whales & History: Lime Kiln Point State Park, San Juan Island, Washington

On the western coast of San Juan Island is the small Lime Kiln Point State Park. As its name would suggest, this 36-acre park was established around a former lime production zone in 1984. These lime kilns merged with adjacent Coast Guard facilities to form the park, and the facilities were later renovated for public use.

This park is also known as “Whale Watch Park,” and for good reason. Pods of orcas regularly visit the waters around Lime Kiln Point between May and September. Minke whales, porpoises, humpback whales and more are also common to see. These ocean creatures might appear far out in the water, so make sure to pack some binoculars.

Even if the animals decide not to say hello, this scenic park still has other points of interest. If you’re interested in orcas or the kiln’s history, drop by the interpretive center to check out its various displays and exhibits. Or you can take a quick walk to the nearby lighthouse and try its hydrophone—you might catch the sounds of nearby whales underwater.

Plot out your San Juan Islands adventure at visitsanjuans.com.