Scenic Byway bears signs aplenty

From left; Deborah Hopkins Buchanan

From left; Deborah Hopkins Buchanan

More than ninety San Juan Islands Scenic Byway ‘wayshowing’ signs will be posted on Orcas and San Juan islands during April – eight and one-half years after the beginning of the Scenic Byway process in 2005. The San Juan Islands Scenic Byway became Washington’s newest state byway in the spring of 2009.

Eighty-five metal 12 inch by 18 inch signs, posted by Scenic Byway partner San Juan County Public Works, will make it easier for visitors to find attractions, parks and amenities along the Byway on both islands. In addition, eight 60 inch by 27 inch ‘gateway’ signs will be posted at the Anacortes, Orcas Island and Friday Harbor ferry terminals.

The signs were made possible by a national scenic byways grant, one of four grants received to date. Byway touring maps have been printed by the San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau each year since 2009. Online tours are on the Visitors Bureau’s website at The San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau has led this project since 2005.

The Byway is divided into three segments: the first encompasses 30 miles along the beautiful blue marine highway, the Washington State Ferries routes, the second is a driving tour around San Juan Island, and the third is a driving tour on Orcas Island.  More information and videos can be found at


Byway steering committee

• Cultural Resources Consultant Boyd Pratt

• Friends of Moran State Park – Michel Vekved

• Friends of the San Juans – Stephanie Buffum

• Light Heart/Nonprofits Unlimited – Liz Illg (Byway coordinator)

• Orcas Island Chamber of Commerce – Terri Gilleland

• Orcas Pathways – Cathy Faulkner

• San Juan County Health & Community Services (Mobility) – Christopher Aiken

• SJC Land Bank – Judy Cumming

• SJC Parks – Dona Wuthnow

• SJC Public Works – Shannon Wilbur and Guard Sundstrom

• San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce – Tom Kirschner (formerly Debbie Pigman)

• San Juan Island National Historical Parks – Lee Taylor (formerly Peter Diedrich)

• San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau – Deborah Hopkins Buchanan

• Town of Friday Harbor – Sandy Strehlou

• Transportation Planner David Gow

• Washington State Ferries – Melissa Johnson