Lakedale Resort and Three Lakes
San Juan County
San Juan Island
4313 Roche Harbor Rd
Every day Never Closes
Photo Credit: Bud Hardwick
While the majority of the accommodations in the San Juan Islands concentrate on saltwater locations; a few like Lakedale Resort have found a special niche deep within the heart of an island. The resort is located on over 80 acres of land with half of that in the form of attractively shaped lakes providing extensive shoreline and picturesque views. This exceptionally varied resort offers what may be the widest range of accommodations of any one place to be found in the islands. The choices range from luxury lodge, log cabins, lake side campsites, bicycle touring camps, and even the most romantic option of all; the canvas tent cabin.
While all of these options are available during the summer months only the Lodge, log cabins, and Lake House are open year round. The lack of outdoor winter camping accentuates the quiet and solitude making it inviting for a completely different experience from the more popular and exuberant summertime. With less human activity the wildlife which is abundant even in the summer becomes even less reticent in the winter. Combined with the greater visibility after the fall leaves have dropped, birding becomes exceptional and easily done from the comfort of cushioned deck chairs and wooden rockers. With nearly every room and campsite offering lake views it doesn’t take much more effort than a glance to see what’s happening in the natural world.
While there is no restaurant on the premises, lodge guests are provided a wide variety of breakfast choices in a buffet while cabin guests are welcomed their first morning with a breakfast basket containing items that may be enjoyed cold or prepared in their fully functional kitchenettes. Beyond that the numerous restaurants and stores of Roche and Friday Harbors are only ten minutes away in either direction. You’ll be able to find plenty of choices for all types of dining or gathering of picnic supplies. Campers are by definition prepared to fend for themselves but even so, the summer availability of the resort’s little General Store is often the focus of that special daily outing to pick out the treat of the day, an activity enjoyed by campers of all ages. Besides camping and food supplies, the General Store also is the location of various summertime social and fun activities such as birdhouse painting and ice cream socials.
With so much in the way of available lake and shoreline it’s not unexpected that water sports, boating, and fishing figure prominently during the summer months. There are plenty of supplies on hand at the General Store and for rentals you can choose from canoes, kayaks, paddle boats, row boats, and possibly a few more craft that are difficult to describe.
Despite the wide variety of accommodation options, the grouping of similar types of campers seems to go a long way to favorably enhance everyone’s experience. RVs are separated from tent campers, cabins are on the opposite side of the lodge from the outdoor camping, and the bicyclists touring the island have their own area as well. Across a small bay of the main lake, and opposite the lodge, the canvas tent cabins are set up on their own separate platforms. They offer the most unique of the camping experiences. Despite the provision of luxury touches such as comfortable beds, fine linens, and electricity the separation from nature by only a thin canvas wall makes for a delightful contrast. It isn’t hard to imagine that you’re enjoying an exotic expedition with hundreds of porters who carry and then set up your tent cabin and furniture each evening.
Throughout the grounds pleasant touches and attention to detail are evidence of the care and thought that goes into making each guest feel comfortable and welcomed. Gaily striped changing booths placed near swimming areas add to the gaiety of the setting while serving the convenience of swimmers. The landscaping is attractive but adds privacy between camping areas while also forming picturesque openings for the lake views. The handsome woodwork and classic fixtures and furniture of the lodge are reminiscent of the grand lodges of the national parks but on a more intimate scale.
There are no direct saltwater connections from the resort but with access to the north, east, or west shores only about a ten minute drive away, this is probably one of the most centrally located accommodations on San Juan Island. So whether you’re looking for a campsite, a peaceful lodge, or a convenient canoe paddle, the Lakedale Resort and their lakes will answer your needs and maybe even provide you with a few more things that you hadn’t realized you were looking for.
From Friday Harbor Ferry Terminal, leave town on Roche Harbor Road, in about 4 ½ miles from the ferry landing look for the signed entrance on your left.
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San Juan Islands