Words don't do well when it comes to this site. There is much to see and do here.
Bowman Bay is part of the Deception Pass Washington State Park. The bay is on the north side of the Deception Pass bridge. See the map provided to locate the exact location.
For them that don't have the gear or skills to master this particular kayak adventure, there is a kayak tour operation during the peak season. They are easy to find on the east side of the parking area in the summer months.
Some of the many features of the Bowman Bay area besides kayaking are: 1. Seasonal camping. 2. CCC Civilian Conservation Core museum and structures. 3. Hiking around the bay to and from the bridge side to Rosario Beach on the other side, north of Bowman Bay. 4. This is a popular picnic place.
This is one of the more scenic places in the State of Washington and Pacific Northwest. So plan to spend some time exploring if you are into nature and lovely walks and paddles.
OK, now for some paddling information.
The bay is more protected then the rest of the area. Once outside the bay paddlers might be subjected to currents, winds, swells and some serious tidal action to the south towards the bridge. If you don't have the skills then don't be paddling around to the bridge. There is plenty of action to check out in the bay and Rosario if you choose to paddle over to there or even drive and launch in that area.
The tide comes and goes and with it mud and other stuff to haul to the water from the parking area. If you use the boat ramp to launch you need to fork over the $7 bucks to the state. Otherwise park and walk you and the gear to the water. There are some drift logs to climb over in some cases. No big deal.
The bay always changes with the rise and fall of the water levels. Low tide exposes a lot of great sea life to check out along the shore lines and the little rock outcroppings in the bay. There are birds that hang out on the rocks. Starfish, urchins, seaweed and much more wait for you to see.
There are kelp beds on the way to Rosario. Going out and around the giant kelp is a good idea so you don't possibly get stuck.
The Rosario side of the possible paddle offers some good tidal pool viewing of colorful underwater worlds.
Note there are many cliffs along the route which don't offer much of a way to exit the water if needed. So be prepared.
The water is COLD here. Wetsuits and dry suits are a good thing.
For the sea kayaker there is Deception Island that might be interesting to paddle out to and back with the right conditions. It can be seen in the pictures.
Overall this is a fantastic location to be introduced to some of the mighty opportunities that nature has in store for the willing kayaker in the Pacific Northwest.
NOTE: The aerial photos linked here are from the Washington State Department of Ecology Coastal Atlas.
Check out the Coastal Atlas link above to see more of the rocky coastline and other features of this area.
2006 aerial photograph(s) Bowman Bay Boat Ramp area. Features of the beach launch areas and parking.