San Juan Islands Kayaking
Experience Washington's coastal wildlife and scenery from a spectacular sea-level perspective—kayaking in the San Juan Islands.
The only sounds are those from nature and the occasional splash of a paddle as you search for water-dwelling creatures—orca whales, sea lions, seals, porpoises, otters, starfish, anemones, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, and even octopus (for orcas, late May through September is your best bet).
Paddle your own kayak or set out with one of the many knowledgeable kayaking outfitters on San Juan, Orcas, or Lopez Island for three-hour to three-day (or longer) tours. No kayaking experience? No problem. The outfitters give you a quick lesson in kayaking and safety before you settle into your vessel. And during your trip, your guide is a fountain of information on the waters, the area, and everything you’ll see. The outfitters also provide all the gear you need. On a longer trip, they’ll also dish up food—usually local fare. Make sure to bring along sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen, and wear layered clothing.
Kayak outfitters welcome everyone in good health, and most accommodate children six and older. Their double kayaks let you team up with a family member or friend—double the fun and double the thrills.
Guided trips last from a few hours of paddling among the islands’ sparkling waters to several days and nights of exciting exploration. Most outfitters offer customized tours for big groups.
Each island offers a slightly different kayaking experience—more protected or more open water, different views and varied types of wildlife.
Established in 1980, San Juan Kayak Expeditions is the original sea kayaking company in the the San Juan Islands! We offer guided half-day, full-day and sunset tours and two-, three- or four-day trips, as well as self-guided, multi-day sea kayak rental adventures. Operating May through September, our tours incorporate camping, kayak sailing, hiking, whale watching and birding in an expedition style. Please join us this year for a sea-level view of these breathtaking San Juan Islands. Come play in our backyard! [more...]
Join a "Kayak Quest for Whales” today! Our specialty is finding orca whales while kayaking. Sea Quest was selected by National Geographic in their “10 Best Trips in the World for 2011” and USA Today picked us for their “World's Top 10 Adventure Bargains.” Visit our website now to watch fantastic videos made for National Geographic TV and ABC News. [more...]
Celebrating our 19th year, Crystal Seas offers premier kayaking adventures along the west-side of San Juan Island from late April to early October. Join us for a three-hour, sunset, full-day or multi-day kayak tour to experience the thrill of a lifetime! Crystal Seas specializes in small groups and custom/family tours. We offer free transportation from downtown Friday Harbor to our launch site and provide all of the gear you will need. Singles, couples, families and groups are welcome. [more...]
Since 1987, Adventure Associates has specialized in all-women and coed whale watching paddles and sea kayaking trips. Our expert naturalists share on- and off-water secrets of these magical island communities. Small tour groups (5-12) enjoy great cuisine, a relaxed pace and camaraderie around the campfire. Enjoy three-day whale watch paddles, six-day sea kayak expeditions and six-day multi-sport (hike, bike & sea kayak) adventures for women. Camping, kayak equipment and all meals included. No experience needed. [more...]
Outer Island Expeditions offers kayak tours and rentals from Orcas Island. We offer three-hour and full-day kayak trips. We also offer kayak rentals by the hour, day and week. Both our three-hour and full-day tours head to some of the best wildlife locations in the San Juans. We may encounter seals, porpoise, eagles, otters, sea birds and even the occasional orca whale. Our three-hour tours leave from Smuggler's Villa Resort and head to Pt. Doughty State Park. Our full-day tours head to Sucia Island State Park where you will enjoy some of the region’s best kayaking. [more...]
• A writer described the essence of sea kayaking perfectly when she said, "Kayaking is the closest you'll ever come to actually being a marine mammal."
• With 175-forested islands surrounded by crystal-green waters and snow-capped mountains, the San Juan Islands in the NW corner of Washington State are an idyllic sea-kayaking destination. [more...]
"Discovery Sea Kayaks, known by reputation, selected for adventure!" Discovery Sea Kayaks was awarded "Best Outfitter on Earth" by National Geographic Adventure Magazine 2008 and 2009. We offer truly unique, small-group, year-round sea kayaking adventures in the San Juan Islands. [more...]
Lopez Kayaks offers rentals, kayak trips and sales. Our on-the-water kayak shop has been serving the area since 1995 with one of the best launches in the San Juan Islands. Rent by the hour or for multiple days, with car topping available. Our rental shop offers maps, books, kites, hats, kayaking information and more. All ages and abilities are welcome. [more...]
"To preserve, enjoy, and interpret the natural history of Orcas Island.”
Enrich your stay on our amazing island with a guided kayak tour. Beginners are welcome, gear and instruction are provided. Our rates are reasonable; our equipment is top-notch. Our goal is to provide you with a safe, enjoyable experience that will leave you more knowledgeable about our local environment and about kayaking. [more...]
Explore the San Juan Islands by sea kayak with Shearwater Adventures. Join one of our guided tours or design a custom trip for your family, friends or colleagues. Three-hour trips offer a taste of kayaking along the shores of Orcas Island. Day trips include an opportunity to venture further into the unique and beautiful environment of the San Juan Islands and explore a secluded island at lunchtime. We use stable two-person kayaks and provide all the gear and instruction you need. Bald eagles, great blue herons, harbor seals, river otters and porpoise are common sightings on our tours. [more...]
We offer daily one- two- and four-hour guided or unguided kayak trips from downtown Friday Harbor to the inner harbor, Brown Island, or to beautiful Turn Island State Park, where you can hike the trails, enjoy a beach picnic, and explore the tide pools. Our fleet of Hobie kayaks includes singles, tandems and trimarans, and can be paddled, pedaled, sailed or even driven by an electric motor. The unique and versatile Hobie kayaks are extremely stable, and suitable for pros or beginners of any age. [more...]