Exploring Cap Sante Park in Anacortes, WA

Anacortes aerial viewA few weeks ago we found this gem while looking for a short hike to do with the kids. Of course we had to check it out and we had a blast exploring Cap Sante Park in Anacortes WA.

We had talked about just heading back to the hike we did in Mount Vernon and then saw a small picture of Cap Sante and was sold. Honestly though, pictures don’t even do it justice. Cap Sante is a magical little place with a view of Fidalgo Bay that is to die for.Anacortes Cap Sante hike jumping After buying a few things at the local market to tide us over until dinner, we made the trek to the park past the shipyards and some of the most beautiful houses I have ever seen in Washington. Already in love on the drive there, once we got into the main road of the park we were so excited to check it out. We parked at the top of the Cap Sante hill in the lot and then decided to explore on the refinery side of the park first overlooking the peninsula.

All Parents Take Note: Exploring Cap Sante Park in Anacortes, WA safely

The giant boulders on this side of the park are *crazy steep* and there are absolutely no guard rails to keep you from falling into the bay below if you were to slip, so explore on this side at your own risk. With three young kids who were bouncing with excitement about exploring, I was in a constant state of panic while navigating the rocks in sandals {definitely not advised. I ended up switching into regular shoes back at the car less than 5 minutes after we arrived} and holding my beloved camera with a death grip.Anacortes hike rocksWhile there are rocks built into stairs so you can walk down over the hill, it’s still terrifyingly open and one slip could easily be disaster. We spent most of the time fearing for our little one’s life since she was trying her best to keep up with the older kids, and the rest of the time was spent telling the older kids to please, please, PLEASE SLOW DOWN.Anacortes hike 3

I swear I had about 300 mini heart attacks while we explored this side which might be partly due to my overwhelming fear of heights, but is likely mostly to blame on the kids. My kids, the ones who usually sit things out until they are 100% comfortable, were all of a sudden fearless and much too fast for my liking. It wasn’t even a half hour before I couldn’t take it anymore and I needed to take our crew somewhere less heart pounding and terrifying.Anacortes Cap Sante cliffAnacortes hike on top

Fairies and other magical beings

The other side of the park overlooking the town of Anacortes made all those mini panic attacks worth it. We hiked up the first few massive boulders and right on top was this magical moss-covered knoll. To call this beautiful is a vast understatement. If fairies exist, I can 100% guarantee you that they live right here on the Cap Sante park hill. I think we were all in shock that a place like this existed outside of the movies, and especially surprised to find it here in Washington –  not to mention the fact that it’s still early spring, well before we hit peak green and lush around Seattle.Anacortes hike Cap SanteNot even kidding, even the light on this side of the park was amazing. Whereas the other side of the park had been bathed in harsh light, as soon as we crested the first mound of boulders the light changed to this golden hour gorgeousness that is hard to describe. Magical is just about the only word that does it justice.Anacortes hike Cap Sante 2nacortes hike Cap Sante 3We explored this side for a while and let the kids roam since it’s far less steep and easier to stay all together, and I snapped some of my most favorite pictures of the kids I’ve ever taken. I could have stayed here until sunset exploring atop the boulders, but eventually we were reminded we had promised a hike when we ran into a son and father out with their dogs and they told the kids the trail led right to the beach. Anacortes hike with kidsThe path was incredibly steep, but easy enough for our littlest one to manage on her own. Only a few times did she say she was tired, but we were always able to distract her enough to continue on to the beach without complaint. Once we got to the beach, however, her energy was somehow restored and she pranced along the beach on the algae covered rocks with the big kids almost like she hadn’t skipped naptime. Anacortes hike 2We stayed at the beach until the sun was going down and then decided to hike back up to see the bright colors of the sunset from the top of the boulders. The hike up felt much steeper than the hike down, so I was incredibly glad I grabbed a stick at the beach to help me stay upright on the trek back up. We were moving quickly to catch the sunset and it only took between 10-15 minutes to hike to the top even with little ones. Anacortes hikeThe sunset from the top was worth the hurry. Watching the sunset over the bay with 360 degree views was breathtakingly beautiful. It’s now been a few weeks since we visited and I keep feeling pulled back to this spot. With how much we all loved the park and the hike, I know we will be back at least a few times a year to experience Anacortes and Cap Sante.Anacortes hike sunset 2

About the Cap Sante Park

The park is located on the outskirts of Anacortes and has numerous trails with great views of the San Juan Islands, Cap Sante Marina, Antacortes refineries and the bay. It is located at the end of Cap Sante Peninsula with numerous boulders to hike up on to get 360 views of the area. Gain: 200 ft. Highest Point: 300 ft.

Driving Directions to Cap Sante Park

Drive down Commerical Street in Antacortes all the way to the end by the shipyards. Turn right and head east until you see the sign for Cap Sante Park which turns right and heads up hill until you come to the dead end in the Cap Sante parking lot. There is no fee to park there or parking pass required, and your car will be easy to access while you explore the very top of the park.

Find out more at the Washington Trails Association website Washington Trails Association website and read reviews from other hikers.Anacortes sunset

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