Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Fox Island, Washington

Fox Island is located approximately 5 miles (8 km) from Gig Harbor, and was named during the United States Exploring Expedition (1838-1842) to honor J. L. Fox, an assistant surgeon on the expedition.  The first mention of the island is in 1792 when Peter Puget led an exploration party through what became southern Puget Sound and, after an encounter with local native tribes, the exploration party retreated to Fox Island (which, of course, was not then known as Fox Island, but probably something more pragmatic, such as "nearby island where we can hide, regroup, have dinner, and not get slaughtered").  In 1856, during the Puget Sound War, most of the Puyallup Native Americans were removed from their homeland around Gig Harbor and relocated to Fox Island, then later to a reservation further inland.

The first non-Native American settlers moved to the Island in 1856 at the end of the war and access to the island improved immensely in 1954 when the Fox Island Bridge was completed, linking the island to Gig Harbor.  

Fox Island is located between the Olympic Mountains and Mount Rainier, with views of Puget Sound and the mountains.  We're told that we can occasionally see whales in the water around the island, but have not yet had that experience (looking forward to it!).

Puget Sound

Mount Rainier

Olympic Mountains

The bridge

Along with the views of water and mountain, those of us on the island see a lot of ship traffic:  ferries, barges, Coast Guard, and pleasure craft of all sorts.

Traffic on the water

Along Island Boulevard which runs the length of the island, someone (with a sense of humor) has marked a high point of the road.

Fox Pass

The location in Washington assures that we have a beautiful colors on the trees in the fall and throughout the year.


Across Puget Sound, we see long trains winding up the shore to the port of Tacoma, a pleasant sound of rumbling train traffic coming across the water throughout the day, along with the occasional train whistle.

Trains across the water

The island deer population does present some interesting landscaping challenges and a learning curve of what they like to eat and dislike.


And as the sun rises over Mount Rainier, spectacular views present themselves for our pleasure, and as rain occasionally passes through, the sky lights up with a rainbow over the mountain.

Beautiful skies

A little rain

This is truly a beautiful, magical place.

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