San Juan Islands Multisport
Washington's spectacular San Juan Islands are a nature-lover's paradise. Great snowcapped peaks rise all around as scores of marine mammals and shorebirds bask on the craggy shorelines. Whales and dolphins feed and play in the protected waters while hikers, cyclists and paddlers enjoy the quiet and gentle pace of life that brings travelers back again and again to this oasis in the Salish Sea. Look forward to some of the islands' most scenic and invigorating hikes featuring panoramic views of the surrounding islands and peaks. Bike the quiet backroads of Orcas Island past farms and fields, through old growth forest and soak in the amazing 360 degree view from the highest peak in the San Juans. Set out in a stable kayak in search of seals and sea lions, whales and more and spend the night afield on a secluded island. Then, back on San Juan Island, look forward to more outstanding paddling excursions and day hikes or an unforgettable whale watching tour on one of the islands' most environmentally friendly boats as we search for resident Orca whales. Learn about the island's small family farms and agricultural sustainability in the San Juan Islands and enjoy locally sourced, organic meals prepared fresh daily by our guides throughout the trip. Our San Juan Islands Multisport adventure offers a bit of the best of everything this dream destination has to offer.
Traveling with kids under 18? Check out our San Juan Islands Family Adventure.
Important Notice: Day 1 is the day you should plan to arrive at the meeting point for the trip. This may require departing your hometown one or more days in advance.
San Juan Islands Multisport Itinerary:
Day 1 Welcome to the San Juan Islands, where our adventure begins in Friday Harbor. Travel to Roche Harbor for lovely afternoon paddle.
Day 2 Enjoy a scenic ferry ride to Orcas Island where we’ll bike through farms and tidy orchards to Moran State Park and up Mt. Constitution.
Day 3 Set out on an overnight kayak tour to Stuart Island. We camp in a picturesque site with access to iconic Turn Point Lighthouse.
Day 4 Paddle back to San Juan Island through the protected wildlife refuges of the islands watching for birds and marine mammals.
Day 5 Experience an amazing whale watching tour, then visit unique and locally-owned small farms to learn about island life first hand.
Day 6 Enjoy a final morning paddle to Henry Island before returning to Friday Harbor where our adventure ends.
Although we do our very best to adhere to the schedule above, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control including weather and terrain conditions.
Please check with us before purchasing your airline tickets to ensure your trip has the necessary minimum number of participants required to operate.
If you are traveling alone and specifically request single accommodations, you will be asked to pay the full single supplement noted on the trip itinerary. If you wish to share accommodations, we will assign you a roommate if one is available. If a roommate cannot be found, you will be asked to pay a reduced single fee which is one- half of the full single supplement. Please be advised that there are a limited number of single accommodations available.
Camping permits and associated fees; all meals as noted in the daily itinerary; all tent camping, tent-cabin and lodge/cottage accommodations; all group camping equipment (tents, cooking gear, utensils, etc.); all kayaking equipment and dry bags; bikes and bike helmets; optional Whale Watch cruise on Day 5.
Transportation to/from Friday Harbor; pre- or post-trip accommodations in Friday Harbor; insurance of any kind; excess baggage charges or airport taxes (if any); alcoholic beverages or soft drinks;; items of a personal nature including guide gratuities.
This trip is rated Moderate . Beginners are welcome - it is not necessary to be an experienced kayaker although it is beneficial to have had some previous kayaking or canoeing experience (prior camping experience is also a plus but not mandatory). You should be at ease in a small boat on the open water and know how to swim. A typical day will consist of 3-4 hours of activity (paddling or hiking) with occasional breaks for sightseeing, wildlife viewing and meals. Participants should come equipped with a spirit of adventure and willingness to pitch-in and help with camp chores when necessary.
The San Juans average 50 percent less precipitation than Seattle itself. This is due to the rain shadow effect of the Olympic Mountains located to the south and west. On a number of islands you'll find prickly pear cactus - a true testimony to the dryness of the region. During summer months, expect moderate to warm daytime temperatures in the upper 60s and 70s with evening temperatures in the 50s. Most days are sunny with occasional fog in the early morning.
This trip is subject to the booking information set forth in the current REI Adventures Reservation Information. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A full gear list and pre-departure information is sent upon sign-up. We highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance through REI Adventures. If coverage is purchased at the time of your initial reservation, the 'Pre-existing Conditions Exclusion' is waived (certain exclusions apply).
We look forward to having you join us for the trip of a lifetime! Why wait? Space is limited, reserve your adventure today.
San Juan Islands Multisport
The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. Try to bring only what is necessary—this will help you and the field staff.
Expect daytime temperatures in the upper 60s and 70s (slightly cooler in June), with evening temperatures dropping into the 50s. Although days are generally sunny and dry, you must be prepared for wet, cold and windy weather. It is important to bring adequate insulating clothing and raingear for this trip. Please review the "Things to Consider" section on the back of this gear list.
- Tandem (two person) kayaks
- Life jacket and spray skirt
- Dry bags (1 small – 5 liter – for personal gear on day trips and 1 medium – 20 liter – for overnight trip)
- Sleeping bag + pad
- Sleeping bag liner
- Cooking gear
- Bicycles and helmets
- Gel seat Cover
- Group first-aid kit
- Photo identification
- Airline tickets
- Duffel bag (wheels and retractable handle are fine)
- Daypack (2500 cu. inches) or large fanny pack for lunch, camera, water, etc.
- Passport security pouch or belt
- Luggage tags
- Rain jacket with hood, waterproof and breathable
- Rain pants, waterproof and breathable
- Small waterproof pack cover for your daypack
- Light weight hiking boots
- Comfortable shoes for cycling
- Wetsuit booties or water sport sandals for kayaking
- Sweater or jacket, wool or fleece
- Midweight thermal underwear top and bottom
- T-shirts (no cotton)
- Long sleeve shirt
- Hiking pants
- Hiking shorts
- Padded cycling shorts
- Wool or synthetic hiking socks
- Wool or fleece hat for warmth
- Sun/rain hat
- Sunglasses and retainer strap
- Toiletry kit
- Sun block and lip balm
- Plastic bags-Ziploc for wet clothes
- Minimum of two (2) 32 oz. water bottles or hydration system equivalent
- Emergency space blanket or bivy
- Favorite snacks
- Headlamp or flashlight with spare batteries
- Insect repellent
- Camera and film
- Bicycle helmet (if you prefer to bring your own -- helmets are provided)
- Dry bag for personal gear (small)
- Small binoculars (7x or 8x is best)
- Biking gloves
- Paddling gloves
- Bike water bottle
- Trekking poles
Things to Consider
- Please remember to always pack essential items such as appropriate identification, money, eyewear, a pair of shorts/shirt/fleece top/footwear and medications in your carry-on baggage, in case your luggage is delayed.
- Be sure to bring clothing for both warm and cool weather. For cool weather it is important to dress in layers. Do not bring cotton clothing for warmth. Once cotton becomes wet it drains your body heat. Synthetic fabrics including Capilene, polypropylene, MTS or Thermax are best.
- Here's what our guides typically wear while paddling: Nylon shorts (with long underwear beneath if the weather is cool) and a long-sleeved synthetic shirt. A waterproof paddling jacket and rain pants are kept close at hand on cool/misty days as well.
- While in the kayak, wetsuit booties work best. Water shoes, or shoes that can get wet (such as an old pair of tennis shoes), are also an option.
- When it's time to pack gear into the boats, keep your sleeping bag and sleeping pad separate. They can individually fit into the nooks and crannies. All your personal items and extra clothes must fit inside the provided large-sized dry bag. Your rain gear, hat, gloves, camera, etc. is packed in the medium-sized dry bag – this is stowed between your legs for easy access while kayaking. Your guide helps with packing questions at the orientation meeting and gives out dry bags. Extra luggage is stored on San Juan Island until you return.
- Plastic bags are the key to keeping clothing and gear dry. Please line the inside of your sleeping bag stuff sack with a large hefty bag. Consider using resealable plastic bags to keep wet clothes separate from dry clothes, or simply use the dry bags provided by your guides.
- If you are taking a floatplane to/from Friday Harbor, note that a weight limit on luggage (usually a 24-pound maximum) will be strictly enforced. Excess baggage charges will apply.
Feel free to give us a call at (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out www.rei.com/learn. The Expert Advice section on our "Learn" page has great information to help you prepare for your trip.