SUCIA ISLAND MARINE STATE PARK
Sucia Island Marine State Park is an 814-acre marine park with 77,700 feet of shoreline and abundant camping and moorage. The main island and several smaller islands comprise the Sucia group. There are no services on this island, and fossil collecting is strictly prohibited in this and all Washington state parks.
This island park sits within the traditional territory of several Coast Salish tribes, who occupied the area for several thousand years.
In 1791, Spanish explorer, Captain Francisco de Eliza, labelled the island as Isla Sucia on his map. In Spanish, sucio means dirty or foul.
In 1841, American explorer and naval officer Charles Wilkes renamed Sucia and its neighboring reefs and rocks the Percival Group to honor Captain John Percival, who fought in the War of 1812. The Spanish name was restored by British naval officer Henry Kellet in his 1847 Admiralty chart.
The first known Euro-American settler on the island was Charles Henry Wiggins, who moved to the island in the 1880s with his wife, Mary Luzier, a Cowlitz Indian. The Wiggins family had lived previously on nearby Waldron Island, but left for Sucia after government agents seized eight of their children and took them to Chemawa Indian School in Salem, Oregon. The couple had five more children on Sucia and established a farm with fruit trees, cows and sheep. Wiggins Head at the southwest end of the island is named for the family.
Fox farming and sandstone quarrying were among the industries undertaken on the island during the early-to-mid 20th century.
Washington State Parks acquired 115 acres of Sucia Island near Fossil Bay in 1952. Later, developers wanted to parcel up the remainder into vacation lots. Seattle yachtsman Everett Ev Henry spearheaded a drive to raise money and the Interclub now the Recreational Boaters Association of Washington was formed. The club paid $25,000 to purchase the land, which was donated to Washington State Parks in 1959. The agency acquired the remaining parcels of private property in 1972, and the entire island became a state marine park.
On April 10, 2012, part of a femur bone from a theropod dinosaur was discovered in a rock on the island. Theropods are a group of meat-eating, two-legged dinosaurs, including T. rex and Velociraptor. The fossil was spotted and excavated by paleontologists at the Burke Museum. The fossil is around 80 million years old, and the dinosaur lived south of todays Washington state. The rocks that make up Sucia Island are believed to have been moved slowly north by geological processes.
A Discover Pass is required for vehicle access to Washington state parks for day use. For more information about the Discover Pass and exemptions, please visit the Discover Pass web page
Camping is available on a first come, first served basis. The park has 60 standard campsites, four reservable group camps, four picnic shelters, potable drinking water at Fossil Bay early April through September, Echo Bay and Shallow Bay May through September and composting toilets.
Four group camp areas may be reserved nine months in advance.