The picturesque location perched on steep cliffs overlooking the Puget Sound, Ebey’s Landing National Historic Reserve feels like a land from a time ago. The area traces some of the early settlers in the land, natives, pioneers from Europe, and beyond who came to live and settle the land.
History of Ebey’s Landing NHR
The Land that is now called Ebey’s Landing on Whitby Island has seen settlement for hundreds if not more years. The local Skagit Indians had established permanent settlements on the island since at least the 1300s.
When foreign settlers came to the land in the 18th century, they saw the permanent settlements of the Indians in the area. Sadly as the years passed by, the Native Indians who had tilled the land for centuries were resettled to reservations outside of the area.
The Island’s current name, Whitby, was named for a Lieutenant Joseph Whidbey, who was an early European explorer of the area. The land and island started seeing a bigger influx of people when the Donation Act of 1850 offered free land to those who would settle and homestead for at least 4 years.
Of course that didn’t take into account the people who were already here.
Years later the Ebey family settled on this land and built a home and blockhouse on his claimed land. Years later, one of the Ebey settler was slain by indians for revenge of killing of one of their chieftains. A sad affair of this land and of course other land and indignities of the area as well. Some of these original buildings do still stand on the land. And the name Ebey still adorns the area (and the National Park Reserve).
Visiting Ebey’s Landing
Visiting Ebey’s Landing, the land and the buildings is definitely a good way to see and experience the area. The land is still kept in many ways as it was from those years of early settlers. There are also quite a few buildings visitors can visit on the land.
Among the activities of the area is hiking. There are quite a few hiking trails in both the National Reserve and adjacent Ebey’s Landing State Park.
Places to Visit
Jacob & Sarah Ebey House
Described in the information above. The Jacob and Sarah Ebey home is the historic home of these Ebey family members. The home of the son (Isaac) that was killed by local Indians.
The house is open daily from memorial day to labor day. There are volunteers that man the house and it acts like a visitor center and gives both advice on the area and period historical information.
1860 Ferry House
Built by Winfield Scott Ebey and George Beam the Ferry House provided support for travelers traveling the Salish Sea.
Sadly, the house is not open for tours, however the property is open for visiting. It’s still beautiful to view the outside of the historic building and walk the property as well.
The Bluff Loop Trail
One of the best trails in the park, the bluff trail traverses the beautiful bluffs and cliffs around Ebey’s Landing. It’s one of the best ways to get views both of the land, some of the buildings in the distance, as well as the rugged coastline. It’s one of my favorite trails too. The trails goes between the national reserve and the state park.
The Trail is considered Moderate. The trail is 3.5 miles roundtrip from (Ebey’s Landing State Park Trailhead) or 5.5 miles roundtrip from (Prairie Overlook Trailhead)
The Pratt Loop Trail
A short quick walk through the various farm fields of the area. You can view some of the local farm buildings as well as gorgeous view of the waterway.
Where to Stay
Depending on your plans there are places you can certainly stay near Ebey’s Landing NHS. You can also stay in other places around the park if you are on your way to other locations such as San Juan Islands NHP or Seattle. However, to help you with your plans here are places nearby you can rest your head.
Camping in Ebey’s Landing
There is no camping in the actual National Historic Reserve. However, there is camping in the nearby state parks as well as in the area around Coupeville WA as well.
Fort Ebey State Park has 39 standard campsites and 11 partial-hookup sites (water / electricity) and one restroom / 2 showers. The park also has one additional site for those who arrive by water.
Many of the hookup sites will accommodate larger vehicles, however you should certainly verify for your particular site. The park office also offers various items for sale including firewood, ice, and snacks.
Fort Casey Historical State Park has 22 standard campsites, and 13 partial hook-up sites (water / electricity) and one bathroom (with shower).
The maximum vehicle length is 40 feet, although that is only for a few sites, so you should definitely check your site if you need a longer site. Also several of the sites are beach front, so you might want to try to grab those if you prefer as well.
Dates Available: April 2 – October 31st
Reservations: First come – first serve
Rhododendron Park offers 15 campsites. 3 of which can also accommodate RVs and have water (but no electricity or dumping).
The site also has vault toilets, water, picnic tables, and fire rings.
All site at the campground are first come first serve, so be sure to arrive early if you are planning to stay here (or have an RV).
Hotels near Ebey’s Landing
If you don’t mind being a bit further away from Ebey’s Landing and/or you are planning to visit San Juan Islands, Majestic Inn & Spa is one of my favorite hotels in the area. It is very lovely and the rooms are beautiful, clean, and well appointed. It is also super close to the ferry which is good if you are planning to try to take the early ferry (recommended) to San Juan Islands. [Check Prices for Majestic Inn and Spa]
This lovely 1907 property has a lot of charm and is located in Coupeville WA only a few minutes from Ebey’s Landing. The property is incredibly lovely with good service and that cool old charm. There is also a great restaurant onsite as well too. [Check Prices for Captain Whidbey Inn]
Another great option close to Ebey’s Landing and also located within Coupeville Washington. I do love the town of Coupeville and the charm of the area. The site has a modern feel for the rooms as well as kitchenettes for some of the rooms as well. I would definitely give it a try if it’s available and its also great that its a quick walk to the beach as well. [Check Prices for Kettles Trail Suites]
Located in nearby Oak Harbor, Wildwood Farm Bed & Breakfast is a great option if you want to feel a bit more remote while still having modern amenities. The farm has quite a few hiking trails along with horseback riding and canoeing. It’s very popular with couples as well and does give you the nice privacy and nature that you may be craving. Stay for the lovely rooms and great breakfast. [Check Prices for Wildwood Farm]
The Cottage At Sunnyside
Address: 162 Cemetery Road Coupeville, WA 98239
Hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (Monday – Friday)
This is the main administrative and visitor’s center for Ebey’s Landing NHR. Visitors can find information, brochures, trail maps and the passport stamp. Only opened during week days.
Jacob and Sarah Ebey House
Address: 1784 W Rebecca Dr., Coupeville, WA 98239
Hours: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm (Thursday – Sunday), Seasonally [ Memorial Day – Labor Day]
This is located within the park and you can find it along the trail in the park. The house is staffed by volunteers and may possibly not be open even during the stated hours. It was closed by the time I arrived even though it was within the hours listed.
There is no fee for the National Historic Reserve.
However, there are 3 state parks that also exist within the boundaries of the National Historic Reserve. These require an entrance fee of $10.00
National Park Passport Stamp
There is a National Park Passport (cancellation) stamp located within the The Cottage At Sunnyside visitor center.
Dogs are allowed at Ebey’s Landing NHR but must be leashed at all times while on trails.
Website: Official NPS Site
Getting to Ebey’s Landing
Ebey’s landing is connected to the mainland by Bridge near Dewey Washington and connects through to Deception Pass State Park.
Take Washington Route 20 on the Island and follow it south towards Coupeville and then onto Ebey’s Landing.
Note: Deception Pass State Park is really quite beautiful in the area where it connects to the mainland. Definitely worth a stop and photos.
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) – Sea-Tac airport is certainly the biggest of the airports that will give you access to the site. Seattle is by far the best portal to the site as well as other national parks in the area. You can also catch a ferry from north of Seattle to Whidbey Island as well to Ebey’s Landing. Depending on ferry times, it may be quicker than driving all the way around.
Sea-Tac Airport Address: 17801 International Blvd, Seattle, WA 98158
Everett which is closer (by car/ferry) to Ebey’s Landing and Coupeville has Paine Field (PAE) which only has service from Alaskan Airlines
Paine Field Address: 3220 100th St SW, Everett, WA 98204
Bellingham is a better option and about the same distance as Everett from Coupeville (by car). The Bellingham International Airport (BLI) has flights from Allegiant, United Express, Alaskan, and San Juan Airlines.
Bellingham Airport Address: 4255 Mitchell Way, Bellingham, WA 98226
There is a ferry that connects Whitby Island to mainland Washington.
The ferry between Mukilteo and Clinton runs regularly from WADOT Ferries. Check the link for more information on times.
After exiting the ferry, take Washington 525N to WA 20 to Ebey’s Landing.