Weekender: Camano Island, Wash.

Zippin’ Along on Camano Island

Story and Photos by Dane Doerflinger

Photo at right: Our writer rode the Canopy ToursNW ziplines by day and lived to tell his tales over dinner at the Camano Island Inn.

Last fall I wanted to find a cozy place to celebrate a milestone birthday for my wife. With rainy, windy weather predicted, and knowing how challenging it can be to get out of Seattle on a Friday night, I opted for Camano Island—less than an hour and a half away.

It turned out to be an inspired choice. We stayed at the Camano Island Inn on the west side of the island, which sits right above the water, with great views of Saratoga Passage from almost every room.

We’d heard that Chef Nick serves up an amazing five-course meal, and we were not disappointed. The Inn also gets bragging rights for its scrumptious and filling lunch and dinners.

The next day, we headed for adventure with Canopy ToursNW. A fairly new company, they have a fully-certified zipline course high in the forest canopy of the 234-acre Kristoferson family farm, currently making it the closest zipline course to the Seattle area.

The course consists of six runs, the longest of which is more than 650 feet. After a solid introduction and safety talk by our guides, Colin and Matt, we rode to the start in a classic 1963 Swiss Army troop carrier known as a “Unimog.”

Even though the Northwest weather did its best to discourage us, we had a blast zooming from platform to platform.

Safety is the number one priority, and the care and attention each guide gave us put to rest any concerns we might have had.

When we finished for the day, we exited the final platform, attached via rope to an automatic lowering device that lowered us at a comfortable speed. We sat back, relaxed and let the device do the work. We were greeted at the bottom with hot chocolate, coffee and cookies.

When it came time to reluctantly head home, the short drive meant we had plenty of time to get ready for re-entry into the normal work week. As you might guess, I scored major brownie points with my wife for putting the trip together.

It’s going to be hard to top this zippy birthday
next year.

If you go:

Camano Island Inn: www.camanoislandinn.com

Canopy ToursNW: www.canopytoursnw.com

Other places to visit on Camano Island:

Camano Island Coffee Roasters: www.camanoislandcoffee.com

Diamond Knot Brewery: www.diamondknot.com/Camano

Cama Beach State Park & Center for Wooden Boats: www.parks.wa.gov/camabeach

Dane Doerflinger is a Seattle native who has spent over 30 years playing in the Northwest outdoors. Besides having a passion for rafting, skiing, climbing and hiking he has been known to do a luxury trip once in a while.