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Winter Storm Watching at State Parks

Winter Storm Watching at State Parks

State Parks – the perfect place to storm watch

The steady sound of surf crashing on a rocky shore. Icy white waves thundering and curling into dramatic arcs against high black cliffs. Steely skies and curtains of rain sweeping across choppy waters.The drama and power of Washington’s waters in winter are nothing short of awe inspiring.

Storm watching is a popular pastime here when winter weather hits our coastal and Puget Sound waters from October to April. And state parks are home to ideal — and safe —  vantage points for witnessing the raw drama, power and beauty the of Pacific Northwest storm season. Here’s the scoop on some dynamic destinations

Bay View State Park

Watch the rains wash over the San Juan Archipelago from this tiny gem of a park. Small and easy to navigate, this park on the shore of Padilla Bay offers wide-open views of storms rolling up on the  shore. Bonus: Visit the Breazeale Padilla Bay Interpretive Center half a mile from the park and learn about the protected estuary reserve bordering the park through displays and hands-on interpretive activities.

Cape Disappointment State Park

Cape Disappointment is widely considered the crown jewel of storm spectating in Washington. Set high above some of the most dangerous waters on the planet — the coast guard trains here — it is home to two vintage lighthouses, dramatic cliffs and stirring surf. If weather permits, get pictures of the powerful waves crashing below Cape Disappointment Lighthouse from Waikiki Beach. Or visit the high cliff setting of the newly restored  North Head Lighthouse, which offers expansive views of the Pacific Ocean and the powerful surf crashing below. Note: The North Head Lighthouse is closed for interior tours until May, but visitors are welcome to observe from the outside.

Deception Pass State Park

This classic and well-loved park on Whidbey Island offers a brilliant vantage point for watching storms roll in from the Strait of Juan de Fuca and across the San Juan Islands. Watch the wild waves from the park’s windswept cliffs. While you are there, check out the park’s signature bridges and interpretive center for a break from the weather.

Grayland Beach State Park

Experience an uninterrupted vista of the North Pacific Ocean! Don’t forget the camera — whether it’s stormy or calm, Grayland’s sandy shore is a great spot for a wide-angle shot. In good weather, you may get an unparalleled sunset. When the wind and rains come, watch waves mound and crash on the shore.

Information found on the Adventure Awaits blog.

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