Camano Island /kəˈmn/ is a large island in the Possession Sound portion of Puget Sound, located in Island County, Washington, between Whidbey Island and the mainland. The body of water separating Whidbey Island and Camano Island is called Saratoga Passage. Camano Island is separated from mainland Snohomish County by Davis Slough near the city of Stanwood. The island is reached via State Route 532 over the Camano Gateway Bridge in the northeast of the island.

Camano Island beach 01.jpg
A beach on Camano Island in Camano Island State Park
Camano is located in Washington (state)
Camano Island (Washington)
LocationPuget Sound
Coordinates48°11′N 122°30′W / 48.183°N 122.500°W / 48.183; -122.500Coordinates: 48°11′N 122°30′W / 48.183°N 122.500°W / 48.183; -122.500
Area39.77 sq mi (103.0 km2)
Length15.6 mi (25.1 km)
Width0.75–6.6 mi (1.21–10.62 km)
United States
CountyIsland County
Population13358 (2000)
Pop. density335.9 /sq mi (129.69 /km2)

There were 13,358 residents on the island as of the 2000 census, but the population peaks at 17,000 during the summer months with retired "snowbirds." The island has a total land area of 102.99 km² (39.77 sq mi), though it was larger before the Great Slide of 1825.

During the Last Ice Age the island, sound and land surrounding the sound was covered by a mile thick sheet of ice. As temperatures rose the glacier receded, carving the island and leaving behind deposits of glacial till.[1]

Name originEdit

Camano Island is named for the Spanish explorer Jacinto Caamaño. The original name of the island was Kal-lut-chin which in the language of the indigenous Snohomish tribe means "land jutting into a bay".[2] They used the island as a base during the fishing and shellfish gathering expeditions.[1] Charles Wilkes, during the Wilkes Expedition of 1838–1842, named it MacDonough Island in honor of Thomas MacDonough for his victory of the Battle of Lake Champlain during the War of 1812. Following this theme, Wilkes named the body of water between Camano and Whidbey Island after MacDonough's flagship the Saratoga. When Henry Kellett reorganized the official British Admiralty charts in 1847, he removed Wilkes' name MacDonough and bestowed the name Camano, which the Spanish had originally given to Admiralty Inlet in 1790. Wilkes' name Saratoga Passage was retained.[3]

Jacinto Caamaño explored much of the Pacific Northwest going as far north as what is now Alaska for the Spanish. He began his expedition far to the south in San Blas, Mexico.[4] In addition to its Snohomish name the island has also been known as Macdonough Island named for Thomas Macdonough a U.S. Navy officer during the War of 1812 and as Perry Island after an 1855 treaty between local Native Americans and Washington Territory governor Isaac Stevens.[4] The first Euro-American settlers on the island arrived at the time of the signing of the treaty.[2] Lastly the island was called Crow Island during the logging era that took place during the early 1900s.[4]


  • The Port Susan Snow Goose & Birding Festival (Feb) [5]
  • The Camano Island Mother's Day Art Studio Tour (May) [6]
  • The Spring Art Show (June)[7]
  • Twin City Idlers Classic Car Show (June) [8]
  • Art by the Bay, The Stanwood–Camano Festival of Art and Music (July)[9]
  • Vintage Trailer Show (July) [10]
  • The Stanwood Camano Community Fair (August) [11]
  • Collectors Car Show (August)
  • The Harvest Jubilee (Sept) [12]
  • The AAUW Art for Education Show (October)[citation needed]
  • The Stanwood–Camano Chili & Chowder Cookoff (November) [13]


Camano Island is connected to mainland Washington by State Route 532, which travels from the north end of the island to Stanwood via two bridges over the Davis Slough and Stillaguamish River.[14] The island has several connecting roads that travel along the west and east edges to various neighborhoods and the two state parks.[15] Island Transit operates free bus services connecting Camano Island to Stanwood, with onward connections to Mount Vernon, Amtrak Cascades, and Everett.[16]

Several proposals for alternate ferry connections to Coupeville and Everett have been rejected by local residents and potential operators.[17][18]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Camano Island State Park: Wildlife and Environmental Features". Washington State Parks. Archived from the original on 2010-03-19. Retrieved 2014-08-19.
  2. ^ a b "Camano Island State Park". Washington State Parks. Retrieved 2016-02-21.
  3. ^ Phillips, James W. (1971). Washington State Place Names. University of Washington Press. ISBN 0-295-95158-3.
  4. ^ a b c "Area History". Camano Island Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved 2015-04-13.
  5. ^ "Port Susan Snow Goose & Birding Festival". Snowgoosefest. Retrieved 2015-04-29.
  6. ^ "The Camano Island Mother's Day Art Studio Tour". Retrieved 2015-04-29.
  7. ^ "The Spring Art Show". Retrieved 2015-04-29.
  8. ^ "Annual Events". Retrieved 2015-04-29.
  9. ^ "Art by the Bay". Retrieved 2015-04-29.
  10. ^ "Third Annual Vintage Trailer Show". Retrieved 2015-04-29.
  11. ^ "Stanwood-Camano Community Fair". Retrieved 2015-04-29.
  12. ^ "Harvest Jubilee". Retrieved 2015-04-29.
  13. ^ "Camano Island Chamber of Commerce". Retrieved 2015-04-29.
  14. ^ Fiege, Gale (August 12, 2010). "Drivers, your bridge to Camano Island awaits". The Everett Herald. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  15. ^ McQuaide, Mike (February 2, 2011). "A driving tour of Camano Island: laid-back vibe, no ferry ride". The Seattle Times. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  16. ^ "Island Transit votes to keep its free rides". The Everett Herald. June 30, 2018. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  17. ^ Whalen, Nathan (July 18, 2008). "Ferry to Camano idea revived". Whidbey News-Times. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  18. ^ Schmidt, Carol (February 2, 2019). "News Files: Camano said 'no' in 1999 for the third time to car ferry service". Stanwood Camano News. Retrieved April 7, 2019.

External linksEdit