Robert Moran, the benefactor responsible for the park coming into existence, was shipbuilder and a mayor of Seattle. Following his mayoral service, Moran devoted all his efforts to his shipbuilding business and, in 1904, climaxed his career with his shipyard's launch of the USS Nebraska, Washington State's only battleship. He was told in 1905 that he had one year to live, and retreated to Orcas Island, where he built the Moran Mansion—surrounded at that time by 7,800 acres of land—that is now the centerpiece of Rosario Resort. He built two identical houses for his children so they wouldn't argue who got which one. Moran spent the remainder of his life in retirement on Orcas Island. In 1916, he had a 132-foot yacht built called the Sanwan, though the ship saw little use. Influenced by chance encounters with conservationist John Muir, he donated 2,700 acres of Rosario to the state of Washington for preservation, which became Moran State Park in 1921. The Civilian Conservation Corps, one of many federal work programs during the Great Depression, built many of the park's trails, roads, bridges, and buildings during the 1930s.
It has a big campground area with North, Mid, and South camping sectors along Cascade Lake. After some difficulty, I found the primitive camping area reserved for bikers and hikers. It is located south of the South camping area, turn left on Mt. Constitution Rd., after a few hundred feet, it is on the left side of the road. Two outhouses, several picnic tables, and a rain shelter structure mark the spot.
On this particular day, six tents were set up, some doing bike tours of the island. I did a hike to several small waterfalls before turning in for the night. The park offers hiking on 38 miles of hiking trails, biking on 11 miles of trails, horseback riding on 6 miles of trails, boating, and camping.