Just a quick ferry ride away from Everett’s waterfront is an island with bald eagles, seals, sandy beaches and trails.
“I think it’s the most beautiful place in Everett,” said David Green, Everett’s park ranger supervisor.
“It’s the natural beauty still within city limits, but having this escape that anyone can get to is really the neat thing about Jetty Island.”
In just over two months, it drew some 40,000 visits last summer, attracting locals and vacationers from hometowns in Virginia, Florida and Arkansas.
The ferry trip, which departs from the 10th Street boat launch, is free, although donations $2 per adult and $1 per child are suggested to help pay for the ferry’s operations. Daily trips continue through Sept. 2.
“I love that it’s free. Anyone can come here,” Green said.
In addition to enjoying 2 miles of sand, trails and wildlife, there are free daily guided nature walks and nature classes on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons.
The variety of birds that have been spotted on Jetty Island include 26 mating pairs of raptors such as osprey and bald eagles, as well as heron, commerants and seabirds.
You might even spot whales coming through the bay. If they’re between Jetty and Hat islands, you can see the spouts, Green said.
Each year, the island is prepared for visitors by removing vegetation from the main trails and clearing of the volleyball pits.
The busiest times to visit the island are on weekends and sunny days, although it can get less busy after lunch.
Families often want to come early, have a picnic and depart by 3 p.m., Green said.
The ferry can take up to 60 passengers on each trip. Everett residents and groups of eight or more can get reservations if they call in advance. All others go standby.
Before going, remember there’s no running water, electricity and very little shade on the island.
There are a few island no-nos: no pets, no alcohol, no marijuana, no camping.
FYI: The only restroom facility is a portable toilet.
Many visitors stick relatively close to the island’s main trail. By just taking a walk about a quarter mile north or south “they’ll have a beach almost to themselves,” Green said.
Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or email@example.com.
If you go
Jetty Island is open through Sept. 2. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. More at www.everettwa.gov/jettyisland.
The free ferry departs from the Jetty Landing and Boat Launch at 10th and W. Marine View Drive. Ferry reservations are recommended. Reservations may be made two days in advance for Everett residents and non-Everett resident groups of eight or more. Everyone else goes standby. For reservations, call 425-257-8304 from 9 am. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday (Closed from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.).
Parking is available near the 10th Street boat launch, 607 10th St., Everett. The Port of Everett parking fee is $3. Parking machines accept credit cards or cash, but do not dispense change.
Find the ferry schedule here: everettwa.gov/DocumentCenter/View/13705/Jetty-Ferry-Schedule-2019-PDF
Nature walks and classes
Guided tours around Jetty Island occur daily. Hours are 11:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday July 8 to Aug. 29, 1 p.m. Friday and Saturday through Aug. 31, and 11:30 a.m. Sunday from July 7 to Sept. 1.
Nature classes are led by jetty naturalists every Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. Hours are 1 p.m. Wednesdays July 10 through Aug. 28, 3 p.m. Fridays July 12 to Aug. 30, 2 p.m. Sundays from July 7 to Sept. 1.
Go to everettwa.gov/1173/Interpretive-Classes for more information.
A sandcastle contest on Jetty Island is scheduled for noon to 2 p.m. Aug. 3. Builders of all skills are encouraged to bring their own buckets and shaping tools for this creative contest. Some shovels will be available to borrow.
Find a calendar of Jetty Island events online at tinyurl.com/jettycal.