Semiahmoo Spit & Birch Bay

Enjoy birding, photography and hiking year-round, especially in winter. Expect to see loons, waterfowl, oystercatchers, passerines, bald eagles and more.

getting there

Birch Bay State Park

From I-90 northbound: Take Exit 266 and drive west on SR-548 (Grandview Road) following signs to Birch Bay State Park.
From I-90 southbound: Take Exit 270 and drive west on Birch Bay-Lynden Rd and then south along Birch Bay Drive to Birch Bay State Park.

Semiahmoo Spit

Take Exit 274 off of I-90 and drive south on SR-548 (Blaine Road). Turn right onto Drayton Harbor Rd, following signs to Semiahmoo County Park (or Semiahmoo Resort).

on the trail

Semiahmoo Spit and Bay, Drayton Harbor, and Birch Bay State Park  are among the most important winter and spring waterbird sites in Washington.  It's one of Audubon's Important Bird Areas. Winter is a superb time for birding and photography along the spit and in the state park, while walking along shore and paths.  For more birding and photography on an extended day trip, or a second day's visit, consider visiting George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary near Ladner, British Columbia, Canada.

Among the winter birding highlights, and often viewed at close range are:  bald eagles, black oystercatchers, Barrow's goldeneyes, brants, harlequin and long-tailed ducks, wigeons, scoters (three species), ruddy ducks, pintails, red-throated and common loons, cormorants, great blue herons,  passerines and more.  Look for shorebirds during low tides in late April and May from viewpoints in Drayton Harbor. Blaine Marine Park, terminating at a fishing pier at northern end of Drayton Harbor, is a good birding stop during spring and fall migrations, and for waterbirds at any tide level and shorebirding during  rising low tides over the tideflats.

land managers


  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Elevation Gain: 50 ft
  • 50 ft
  • Land Manager: Land Manager Varies
  • Parking Permit Required: see Land Manager
  • Recommended Party Size: 8
  • Maximum Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Route/Place Capacity: 12
  • USGS Blaine
  • USGS Birch Bay
Trip Reports

This is a list of titles that represent the variations of trips you can take at this route/place. This includes side trips, extensions and peak combinations. Not seeing a title that fits your trip? Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.

  • Semiahmoo Bay
  • Semiahmoo Spit
  • Semiahmoo Park
  • Drayton Harbor/Semiahmoo
  • Drayton Harbor/Semiahmoo Spit
  • Birch Bay
  • Birch Bay State Park
  • Semiahmoo & Birch Bays

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