Imagine a green fairy forest of moss-covered rocks, cedar trees with human-sized hollows, black licorice slugs that look like tiny tire treads and a paradise cove with swirling sandstone formations.
You have now conjured an image of Matia Island Marine State Park in the San Juan Island chain, unique in the archipelago for its old-growth trees and rainforest vibe. So, motor on in, tie up to the dock or a mooring buoy and start exploring.
This island, owned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, with campsites, restrooms and trails maintained by State Parks, features an interior walk under an evergreen canopy, on a fern-edged trail. The path opens up to a dramatic cove, and forms a loop back to the dock. While the trails are perfect for hide and seek games among children, the family dog is not permitted in Matia’s fantasy forest, or anywhere else on the island.
Accessible only by boat, Matia Island Marine State Park is a 145-acre marine park with 20,676 feet of saltwater shoreline on the Strait of Georgia. The island is part of the San Juan Islands National Wildlife Refuge. Under a mutual agreement between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, 5 acres at Rolfe Cove are available to boaters as a marine park.
Matia Island has use restrictions that are different from most Washington state parks. Fires are not allowed on the island. With the exception of the campground at Rolfe Cove, the loop trail and its beaches, the island is closed to public access and is used to protect habitat and wildlife.
There is no potable water on Matia Island. The nearest potable water is on Sucia Island and is available from April - September. There is no garbage service to the island. Visitors must pack out what they pack in.
Open fires are not permitted on the island, even in the campground. Gas stoves may be used for cooking. Please check the campground bulletin board for current information.
Located in San Juan County on Puget Sound, Matia Island has two buoys and one dock at Rolfe Cove. The dock is 64-feet long and provides 128-feet of overnight moorage. Dock removal begins in October and installation begins the end of March. All floats will be installed no later than May 1.
Boats must self register and pay moorage fees at onshore bulletin board / pay station. Moorage fees are charged year round from 1 p.m. to 8 a.m.
Latitude: 48º 44' 56.98" N (48.7491) Longitude: 122º 50' 53.87" W (-122.8483)
Rolfe Cove on Matia Island offers six campsites, a sandy beach, one picnic site, and a composting toilet. There is no drinking water available on the island. The nearest potable water is on Sucia Island and available from April - September. There is no garbage service to the island. Visitors must pack-out what they pack-in.
Pets are not permitted.
Open fires are not permitted on the island, even in the campground. Gas stoves may be used for cooking. Please consult the campground bulletin board for current information.