If you’ve never visited Lopez Island, you’re in for a treat. Its unspoiled, natural beauty is perfect for a picnic lunch. The island is easily accessible by plane or private boat, and its many activities include boating, hiking, golfing, tennis, and beachcombing. Bike touring is also popular on the flat terrain of Lopez, and there are plenty of opportunities to see wildlife and whales. The island also hosts a July 4th celebration, a farmer’s market, and a bicycle tour known as the Tour de Lopez.
If you’re into backpacking, it’s best to take a ferry to the island and reserve a spot. Although you can’t book a return ticket online, you can find the ferry’s schedule and be sure to get in line early enough. To help you navigate the island, pick up a map at the ferry dock. Alternatively, you can purchase a map at Lopez Village. And if you’d like to go completely off-grid, you can print out a map of Lopez Island.
Cycling is a popular activity on Lopez Island, and you can find a wide variety of routes to suit your skill level. Those interested in hiking can take advantage of the island’s many trails, including the West Overlook. From there, you can enjoy panoramic views of Deer Harbor, West Sound, Mount Constitution, and the lush, green landscapes of Lopez Island. Another great way to get outdoors is by kayak. Kayaks can be rented from Lopez Bicycle Works and Kayaks. Several routes are categorized by time and difficulty, and spotting orca is a possibility.
In the last twenty years, Lopez has experienced a dramatic growth in population. The original inhabitants are mostly fishermen and farmers, but a small number of idealists have started to settle there. Most of them are involved in the arts and are self-employed. The largest employer on the island is the local school district. Despite the growth in population, Lopez remains a charming place to visit. You’ll find many things to love, including the stunning natural landscapes, peaceful atmosphere, and wildlife.
In the early 1800s, the first permanent non-Native settlers on the island arrived in the region. One of them was Hiram E. Hutchinson, who was only about twenty years old when he first landed on Lopez. He was a gunman, and used it to defend Coast Salish people. In 1865, he married a Tlinglit woman named Mary. Their son Millard was born in 1867, and his sister joined the family in the town.
Today, the three largest cities on Lopez Island are Port Stanley and Richardson. Mud Bay is the smallest town and is a quaint fishing village. The island also boasts stunning cliff-side views. The island’s population is about 2,500, and the residents are friendly and welcoming. Visitors can explore the island’s lush forest and waterfront from several short hikes. And, of course, you’ll be able to take a leisurely floatplane to the island from Anacortes.