Lopez Island Ferry Explained by a Local 2022

Lopez Island Ferry explained

Whether it’s your first time to Lopez Island or you have vacationed here your whole life, let’s break down everything you need to know about taking the Lopez Island Ferry from Anacortes in 2022. Why can’t I make a ferry reservation? What is going on with delays and modified schedules to Lopez? What’s the best way to remain informed about ferry issues before you arrive at the Anacortes Ferry terminal?

The Edenwild Boutique Hotel on Lopez Island is here to help you understand ferry travel as only a local can. This Winter and Spring, crew shortages will continue to cause some delays and in some cases will affect the ability to make ferry reservations. Good news is that Winter and Spring ferry traffic will be light and you will absolutely make it on and off the Island so don’t be afraid to catch the ferry to Lopez Island. We all anticipate better service for Summer.  Let’s go through what you need to know about the Anacortes to Lopez Ferry in 2022! 

First Time Lopez Ferry Riders

Here is a quick rundown for first time ferry travelers. The Anacortes Ferry Terminal takes people and motor vehicles to and from the San Juan Islands every day of the week. Yes, you can bring your car and you will want it when you visit most of the islands, especially Lopez. The 3 major islands are Lopez, Orcas and San Juan (Friday Harbor) and the first stop is Lopez Island.

Finding the Lopez Island Ferry Schedule 

 You can view the ferry schedule for all Anacortes/ San Juan Islands on the Washington State Ferry website but many people find it confusing. We recommend downloading the Ferry App on your phone. It allows you to select your departure and arrival locations customized to your specific travel dates. The App lists all available ferry sailings each day. The app and ferry website will only show you the current schedule and is automatically updated as schedules change with the Seasons. You will want to be in line for the ferry line at least an hour early.

Lopez Island Ferry App
Lopez Island Ferry App

Making a Lopez Ferry Reservation

This Winter you won’t always been able to make a ferry reservation to Lopez Island, but don’t let that scare you from planning a getaway. When you can make a reservation, spots are released 2 months, 2 weeks and 2 days prior to sailing at 7:00am. So if there are no spaces left two weeks before your desired sailing, more spaces will open up 2 days prior to the sailing sailing. Even when the Lopez Ferry is taking reservations, there are always drive up spaces on each boat. You can make a reservation on the ferry website or through the app. Even with a reservation you will need to show up at least 40 minutes early to claim your reservation. Also, keep in mind you can’t make a reservation back to Anacortes from Lopez Island. Returning to the mainland is on a first come first serve basis. An hour lead time is usually all you need but we recommend more for busy Holiday travel.

Ferry Alerts and Where to Find Them

It’s pretty common to have the Lopez ferry running late or be on a slightly modified schedule during the Winter and Spring. If you download the ferry app you will be able to see all the ferry alerts by clicking the triangle with the emoji on the top right corner of the screen. The alerts will tell you how long you should expect to be delayed.

We hope this helps clear up some of the questions you have about taking the Lopez Island Ferry. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you still need a little help. If you want to learn more about the island ferry system or what to do on Lopez Island make sure you check out the rest of our blog posts. We can’t wait until you visit Lopez Island!


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