A Comprehensive Guide To Winter Activities On Orcas Island

Orcas Island is the perfect choice for a winter vacation! If you’re planning a winter getaway to this enchanting destination, you’re in for a treat. In our comprehensive guide today, we are uncovering why Orcas Island is a winter wonderland worth exploring, focusing on the incredible activities and experiences that await you and introducing you to one of the finest Orcas Island hotels.

One of the standout features that make Orcas Island a must-visit in the winter is its remarkable hiking opportunities with its lush evergreen forests, serene lakes, and rugged coastline. In this guide, we’ll take you on a journey through some of the most breathtaking Orcas Island hikes, revealing the stunning vistas and hidden gems you’ll encounter along the way.

Winter on Orcas Island also means embracing the local culture, and what better way to do that than by visiting artisan markets? You’ll have the chance to immerse yourself in the island’s creative spirit, discovering unique handmade crafts, art, and delectable local treats. We’ll be sharing insights on where to go and what treasures you can expect to uncover during your visit.

And if you’re worried about missing out on exciting events during the winter months, think again! Orcas Island hosts a variety of captivating winter festivals, with the annual beer festival, Hops on the Rock, being a highlight for many. We’ll provide you with all the details you need to ensure you don’t miss out on these fantastic Orcas Island activities.

Whether you’re seeking Orcas Island things to do in winter or just looking for things to do on Orcas Island that will make your trip memorable, this guide has you covered. 

About Orcas Island

With a rich and vibrant history that dates back to ancient native tribes, Orcas Island offers visitors a remarkable experience. The island is located near the Canadian border and enjoys a maritime climate, with mild summers and wet winters. During the winter months, visitors have the chance to experience the island’s peaceful seclusion. The air is crisp, the sunlight takes on a golden glow, and the island takes on a magical quality. Winter on Orcas Island is perfect for quiet hikes, cozy nights by the fire, exploring the island’s arts and culture, and indulging in the Island’s cuisine. 

Let’s dive into the top activities and experiences that will make your Orcas Island visit an unforgettable winter escape. 


Lace up your hiking boots and embark on an adventure through the stunning hiking trails on Orcas Island! 

Mount Constitution 

Standing atop the highest point in the San Juan Islands, gazing out at the world from 2,409 feet above sea level; this is the magic of Mount Constitution in Moran State Park. With 38 miles of hiking trails and several pristine lakes, this park is a year-round playground for outdoor enthusiasts.

For those craving a challenge, the steep hike up to Mount Constitution is sure to provide. This trail leads you from the cool shade of old-growth forests to the sunshine-drenched sub-alpine meadows. 

Along the way, keep your eyes peeled for bald eagles, deer, rabbits, and a diverse array of bird species. Upon reaching the summit, you’ll be rewarded with a 360-degree panorama that includes the San Juan Islands, Vancouver, the mainland, and the majestic snow-capped peaks of Mt. Baker and Mt. Rainier!

If you prefer a more relaxed outing, there are plenty of easier hikes further down the mountain. You can even arrange for a drop-off at the top and a leisurely downhill hike or consider parking part way up and taking a scenic three-mile walk around Mountain Lake. Beyond the lake, trails beckon you to Cascade Falls and Twin Lakes, ensuring there’s an adventure for every fitness level in Moran State Park.

peak of Mt. Constitution overlooking snowy Mt. Baker and Mt. Rainier
Photo From Shutterstock

Turtleback Mountain

Turtleback Mountain is the second-highest summit in the San Juan Islands at 1,520 feet and is a favorite among hikers and nature enthusiasts. Its unique shape and diverse trails offer fantastic views and fascinating flora and fauna. For those up for a challenge, take the south-end approach, which leads up the turtle’s “head” treating you to wide-open vistas.

If you prefer a shadier ascent, opt for the north approach. Here, conifer forests and wetlands replace the sun-soaked grasslands and mossy knolls, providing a different but equally rewarding hiking experience.

Obstruction Pass State Park 

For those seeking a wilderness escape, Obstruction Pass State Park awaits at the southeastern tip of Orcas Island. This small but delightful park offers 80 acres of lush forests, vibrant vegetation, and 10 primitive campsites for adventurous souls.

Main trails meander for under a mile through the dense vegetation, leading to two distinct experiences. The easterly trail guides you to a unique 150-yard beach adorned with marble-sized, multicolored pebbles. From here, you can admire breathtaking views of Lopez Island, Blakely Island, and Obstruction Island. Meanwhile, the westerly trail concludes with a panoramic water view, making it an ideal spot for a picturesque picnic.

Artisan Fairs

Dive into a world of creativity and craftsmanship at the Orcas Artisan Fair! 

Held at Oddfellows Hall in Eastsound, this annual fair is a holiday haven featuring 40 talented artisan vendors and craftspeople from all across the San Juans. The Artisan Fair is the ultimate destination to discover unique souvenirs and gifts and immerse yourself in the cozy island atmosphere and the festive spirit of the season.

You’ll encounter a dazzling array of luxurious wearable art and jewelry, fine furniture, exquisite glassworks, ceramics, home goods, wreaths, ornaments, paintings, books, and captivating photography. And that’s not all—there’s even a pop-up bar and an array of delectable food features to keep your energy up as you explore the treasure trove of creativity.

Plan Your Visit

Ready to make your Orcas Island dreams come true? Book your stay with the Village Inn and make your vacation goals a reality!

Hops On The Rock Beerfest

Get ready for a frothy, fun-filled fiesta at the Hops On The Rock Beerfest where the charming streets of Eastsound come alive with excitement historically on Veteran’s Day Weekend.

This event is the ultimate gathering for friends, brew aficionados, and food lovers alike. Whether you’re a beer connoisseur or prefer the crispness of cider, the effervescence of seltzer, or the sophistication of wine, this Orcas Island festival has got you covered with 25+ tantalizing options.

Book Your Stay At One Of The Finest Orcas Island Hotels: The Village Inn At Eastsound

Here, at The Village Inn, we offer a brand-new boutique hotel experience that will make your stay truly memorable.

We believe that you shouldn’t settle for less when choosing your Orcas Island hotel. Our luxury King Orcas Island hotel rooms are thoughtfully crafted, featuring high-quality, sustainably sourced decor and custom-made furnishings. Each room offers radiant heat floors in the bathrooms, deluxe toiletries, and stunning water views of Eastsound from the cozy 8′ window seat.

If you’re in the mood to connect with fellow travelers, our common living room is the perfect spot. You can visit and enjoy the breathtaking views of Eastsound and Indian Island while relaxing in comfortable seating.

What are you waiting for? For the best Orcas Island lodging, book your stay with the Village Inn and get ready to experience the ideal Orcas Island getaway that combines charm, convenience, and luxury.