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home | Locations | FACTS & FIGURES FOR ORCAS ISLAND, WA . . .

Ivan Gillis
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Orcas Island, Washington


Orcas Island is the largest of the San Juan Islands, which are located in the northwestern corner of Washington state in San Juan County, Washington. Orcas Island is one of four stops on the inter-island Washington State Ferry route serving the San Juans. Ferry access to the islands is from the mainland terminal at Anacortes, Washington (between 45 minutes and an hour and fifteen minutes), or limited service from Sidney, British Columbia.


With a land area of 57.3 square miles (148.4 km²) and a population of 4,453 (2000 census), Orcas Island is slightly larger, but less populous, than neighboring San Juan Island. Orcas is shaped like a pair of saddlebags, separated by fjord-like East Sound, with Massacre Bay on the south side, and tiny Skull Island just off the coast. At the northern end of East Sound is the village of Eastsound, the largest town on Orcas and the second largest in San Juan County. In 1989 the Lummi Nation regained a village and burial site on Orcas Island's Madrona Point near Eastsound, and now operates it as Madrona Point Park, a public-access preserve characterized by hundreds of twisting madrona trees sprouting from the rocky shoreline, with an easy hiking trail around the point. There are daily commercial flights to and from Orcas Island Airport in Eastsound, as well as seasonal seaplane flights to different locations on the island, including Rosario, West Sound and Deer Harbor.


Other, smaller towns - or hamlets - on the island include Orcas (where the inter-island/mainland ferry lands), West Sound (technically part of Eastsound), Deer Harbor, Rosario (technically part of Eastsound), Olga and Doe Bay. There are overnight accommodations for visitors in each. Of these Olga and Doe Bay are on the less-populated and generally quieter east side of the island. At Olga, there is a popular cafe and art gallery in a former strawberry-barreling plant, where local artists sell their work, and studios for pottery and glass art. Doe Bay is known primarily for a rustic resort of the same name.


Moran State Park rangers manage Obstruction Pass State Park, a marine park three miles past Moran State Park that is used for hike-in or boat-in camping. The Obstruction Pass Park has a half mile trail leading to a public beach and campground area. There are 11 campsites and 3 mooring buoys at the park. There is a public boat launch on Orcas Island, with a small loading/off-loading public dock, trash dumpster and compost toilet, located a mile past the trailhead road on Obstruction Pass Road. Lieber Haven Resort and Marina is located a short distance from this public boat launch, and has a boat landing dock where a Bellingham (mainland) small passenger ferry makes two-daily scheduled stops, an alternative way to get to Orcas Island, the small passenger ferry also offers interisland travel. Lieber Haven Resort also have a guest dock with short term boat moorage (often the public dock is full) and a sandy beach area designated for passing kayakers to land. The resort is a WiFi hotspot, enabling boaters to get internet access. There is a small visitor information center on the dock and next to the nearby grocery store, which includes a public phone.


Camp Indralaya was founded in 1927 by the Theosophical Society as an experiment in theosophical living. It operates year-round with a program season from April to October.




Population (year 2000): 4,593


Males: 2,237 


Females: 2,356 



Median Age 47.3


Races in Orcas:

  • White Non-Hispanic (94.7%)
  • Two or more races (2.8%)
  • Hispanic (1.9%)
  • Other race (0.7%)

Income & Housing Costs Numbers:


Estimated median household income in 2005: $43,500 (it was $44,101 in 2000)






Estimated median house/condo value in 2005: $332,000 (it was $289,400 in 2000)







Elevation: 60 feet

Land area: 65.0 square miles.

Population density: 71 people per square mile 


 (very low).


In-Depth Facts and Figures as listed below, plus other information:

·        Climate Charts

1.      Average Temperature

2.      Precipitation (Rain)

3.      Humidity

4.      Wind Speed (MPH)

5.      Snowfall

6.      Sunshine

7.      Cloudy Days

·        Tornado Activity History

·        Hospitals & Medical

·        Airports

·        Colleges/Universities

·        High Schools

·        Locations of Interest

·        Shopping Centers

·        Churches

·        Lakes/Streams/Rivers/Creeks/Parks

·        Tourist Attractions

·        Banks

·        Housing Costs Information

·        Crime Statistics

·        Radio Stations AM/FM

·        TV Broadcast Stations

·        Discussion Forums


For the above information and photos, click this link:


Total Tax Burden--Data for Calculation


See article on Bellingham, Washington

Cost of Living Calculators Links:

Wikipedia Information Link:







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