Guemes Island Rocks

Anacortes Painted Rocks

Many communities throughout the world are painting and hiding rocks in their local areas. Guemes Island has a group dedicated to this viral activity. Loalynda Bird started Guemes Island Rocks group on June 1 of 2017. The community jumped on board and began painting rocks in the hundreds. Loalynda got a quick start by hosting rock painting classes. Many showed up to the Guemes Island Community Center on October 18, 2017, eager to get started with the rollout of over 50 painted rocks. Excited and with dedication they were at it again on February 23, 2018, with 137 rocks. The goal of the newly formed group was to hide 200 painted rocks after Earth Day.

The Guemes Island Rocks have a group page on Facebook with great information and where you can share your found rocks. Below are some details from the group’s page. If you have questions or would like to share your colorful painted rocks, please visit Guemes Island Rocks.

Rock Painting Classes

Rock painting classes are offered seasonally in the Community Center by artist Loalynda Bird. Go to the GICCA website: for more information.

Find A Painted Rock
When you find painted rocks, they would love you to take a photo and post it on their new “Guemes Island Rocks!” group page so the island rock artists can see their painted rocks have brought joy to your day. Now you have the choice to keep it forever, for a while, or hide it again for someone else to discover. Please remember to be respectful of Mother Nature and people’s property, parks, and businesses. This is a fun activity for all ages.

Want to join in the fun and contribute your own painted rocks on your own?

1. Wash and dry your rock. It should be smooth and large enough to cover the palm of your hand approx. 3-5 inches.
2. Your painted rock designs should be positive in nature, reflect your love of Guemes Island by celebrating the beauty, wildlife and be inspirational to whoever finds it.
3. Once your paint is dry, use a sharpie on the back of the rock and print:
Guemes Island Rocks! (the year you painted it)
Keep me or hide me
4. To finish your rock, seal your paint with a clear gloss spray for waterproofing.

Searching and Hiding
There are many great places to hide and search for Guemes Island painted rocks. It is critical that you respect the lands and make sure where you are hunting for, or hiding rocks are okay. Trespassing or hiding painted rocks in areas where they’re not wanted is not advisable. If you’re going to hide them in a location that is privately owned and that the public has access to, please make sure you check to see that it is okay with the owners.

Some areas on Guemes Island are owned by private trusts such as Skagit Land Trust and San Juan Preservation Trust. Both Trusts have recently had a discussion among their board members about hiding painted rocks on lands in their care.

map guemes painted rocks

Skagit Land Trust

After much discussion, the committee determined that leaving painted rocks at any Trust property is inconsistent with our visitor code of conduct (which includes following leave no trace principles on Trust properties)

Regina Wandler
Stewardship Manager, Skagit Land Trust

San Juan Preservation Trust

In general, we are ok with it, under these conditions:

1) Rocks can only be hidden at the Peach Preserve (all other SJPT holdings there are conservation easements on private land, or are fee-owned properties inaccessible to public).
2) Rocks must be hidden along the trail– not off trail.

Kathleen Foley
Stewardship Manager, San Juan Preservation Trust