Want to Buy a Private Oregon Island?

We take a look at the Northwest's premium island real estate.

By Maya Seaman March 25, 2014

Sea stacks at the Oregon coast (Not for sale, thankfully!)

Image: zschnepf

The Northwest has islands for sale. Now, I know what you’re thinking—“Oregon has islands?” Yes, indeed. It’s every nature-loving hermit’s dream: a private island in the Pacific Northwest. A rugged, pine-soaked landscape to surround a tasteful two-story cabin with modern amenities. A lone dock pokes into the river, free from tourists with inflatable kayaks and digital cameras commenting on the cute baby ducks. Your boat sits silent in the lapping water while you sit on your deck deciding whether to go into town tonight, or just stay by the fire pit with a cold beer, counting the stars. It’s a beautiful life—if you have over a million dollars to kill.

Here are four of Oregon and Washington’s most prized private island real estates. The fantasy is free—the land is not. 

Tanglewood Island

Tanglewood Island
Location: Puget Sound, Washington (near Gig Harbor)
Size: 16 acres
Price: $889,000
For those that don’t want the responsibility of owning a whole island, this historic parcel may be the answer. Tanglewood supports four homes and a community lodge (complete with swimming pool). The available eighteenth century house has been completely remodeled, and sits nestled in the trees, evoking the intimate feel of a private island, but with the convenience of knocking on a neighbor’s door because you forgot to buy toilet paper. (And you really don’t want to fire up the boat just for a run to Fred Meyer.) Situated near Seattle and Tacoma, this is the perfect retreat from big city living—without having to leave the big city. 

McCaffrey Island

McCaffrey Island
Location: Newport, Oregon
Size: 1.5 acres
Price: $1,250,000
Located on the Yaquina River, this private island paradise comes with an elegantly rustic, fully-furnished, five-bedroom home, apple trees and the occasional deer. It includes a house built for entertaining, sporting a large, open kitchen with granite countertops, and a back patio complete with fire pit where guests can cook whatever creature they caught off the dock that day. A trip to the mainland will take five minutes depending on what kind of fancy boat you have to match your dapper new home, and is only six minutes to the open ocean—which makes this the perfect wealthy pirate hideout.  

Elk Island

Elk Island
Location: Roseburg, Oregon
Size: 15 acres
Price: $2,200,000
This partially developed island is ripe with potential: it offers lush flora, making it the perfect space to open a botanical garden; it’s secluded enough for a small, private resort; and it comes with a plethora of local fauna (awkwardly, no elk), making it a shoe-in for a wildlife reserve and educational center. It seems silly to keep this island all to yourself. In addition to the island, it comes with 10 acres of water rights, an adjacent lot for building a bridge to shore, and a 2.5 acre lot, presumably for parking. It already has a home and a farmhouse, orchards and field crops—all you have to do is decide whether you want to run an island fairground or a relaxed fishing lodge.

Ram Island

Ram Island
Location: 9 miles from Anacortes
Size: 10 acres
Price: $3,500,000
This undeveloped wild land has 3,800 feet of water front. Thick pines give way to stony outcroppings where you’ll enjoy 365-degree views of landmarks such as Mt. Baker, the Olympics and neighboring islands. The end of the island slopes down to a narrow white sand beach—perfect for sunbathing or snorkeling—while the rest of the property is outlined by jutting sea cliffs. The land is zoned for a home, but is currently without power, access to fresh water or sanitation services. (Also, no rams.) But why should that matter? You just bought a three-million dollar island. Build a tree house a la Swiss Family Robinson and call it a day.


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