The Maiden of Deception Pass – Rosario Beach, Washington - Atlas Obscura

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The Maiden of Deception Pass

Rosario Beach, Washington

This statue and its surrounding plaques tells the story of Ko-kwal-alwoot and the kinship between the Samish people and the sea. 


Placed here in 1983, the Maiden of Deception Pass has continued to both guard Sharpe Cove and educate visitors about the beautiful story of Ko-kwal-alwoot, who married the king of all sea creatures to ensure that the bay would always be teeming with life and continue to provide for the Samish people.

The statue also serves to commemorate and remember the Samish people, who called Fidalgo Island, north of Deception Pass, home. Their federal recognition was lost due to a clerical error, and the Samish people have since spread across the world.

Interestingly, the statue has two sides, one portrays Ko-kwal-alwoot as she lived on land while the other shows her as she lived in the sea, with kelp for hair and scaly skin. It is said that the bull-kelp in the bay is her green hair floating in the water, and a sign that she is still watching over both the bay and her people.

Know Before You Go

The statue can be reached by parking at the Bowman Bay campground / boat launch and hiking about a mile down the Rosario Head Trail. It lies between Rosario Head, and Rosario Beach (which is known for its tidal pools). Be sure to visit those out as well if you visit the Maiden!

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January 26, 2022

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