San Juan Islands Cycling

Trip Length 6 Days
Group Size 4-12
Difficulty
Starting from
$2,699 for REI Members
$2,974 for non-members
Departures Jun 2020-Jul 2020
Mon���Fri 7am���5pm PT

Ride along the whale-spotted beaches and quaint towns of Washington?s iconic San Juan Islands for six glorious days.

Experience the best of the San Juan Islands where you?ll spend the days meandering along the quiet roads of San Juan, Lopez and Orcas islands. This 6-day cycling journey is similar to our 4-day offering only with indoor lodging (and the beloved amenities of cozy beds and hot water) and two extra days of adventure.

Great snowcapped peaks rise all around as scores of marine mammals and shorebirds bask on the craggy coastline. Whales and dolphins feed in the protected waters while cyclists enjoy the ?punchy? terrain on low traffic roads, enjoying the world-class scenery of Puget Sound.

Experience the joys of climbing Mount Constitution, the highest peak in the San Juans. Catch photographic views atop the summit and on the descent as the sun reflects off myriad inlets. Stay in classic, unique accommodations and dine on locally-sourced meals in local restaurants and guide prepared culinary delights. Each evening, enjoy in a relaxing soak in a hot tub after a short walk under the starry Pacific Northwest sky before turning in for the evening.

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Trip Highlights

  • Get a taste of island life of the Pacific Northwest while cycling the San Juan Islands
  • Explore scenic villages with local shops, marinas and restaurants
  • Cycle among snowcapped peaks, bountiful islands and beautiful beaches
  • Enjoy indoor accommodations, local restaurants and daily hot tub soaks
  • Clock 129 miles in the saddle with a total elevation gain/loss 9125?. E-bikes available.

Activities

This trip is rated Moderate [3]. Participants should be experienced riders who are comfortable in the saddle for 2-6 hours per day; they should be comfortable riding paved chip-seal roads with light vehicle traffic.

Rides range from 15-35 miles per day with the ability to add a few more miles on some days. Terrain is hilly with a few steeper ascents and descents. Average elevation gains and losses are 1700' per day, not including the optional ride up Mt Constitution which is 2,200'. Most hill gradients average 3-6% and a few steeper points can reach up to 10% grades or higher. Vehicle support is always available when needed. E-bikes are available in a limited quantity upon request.

  • Road Cycling
  • Cycling

What's Included

Five nights accommodations; all meals as noted in the daily itinerary; bikes (including E-bikes in limited quantities); wildlife watch cruise, ferry ride tickets between islands.

Accommodations

Lodge or luxury yurt accommodations on San Juan Island, and historic hotel on Orcas Island

Your wheels for the journey

Every great tour begins with a great bike, and our top-flight fleet has been carefully curated for your cycling adventure.

Want to bring your own bike?�� You can do that too.

Your Adventure Itinerary

Day 1

San Juan ? Ferry to Friday Harbor, cycling to lavender fields and parks.

We will greet everyone at Memorial Circle in Friday Harbor, WA at 11:30am a short walk from the Washington State Ferry terminal. Luggage and guests will be loaded into the van and trailer for a short transport to Jackson?s Beach for our orientation. While enjoying our first lunch together, our guides will brief the group on local island knowledge, safety and bike fit. The start of our ride will meander through open pastures and prairie land before encountering the first of the rolling hills we will experience over the next few days. Our first stop is a visit to the iconic Lavender Farm with huge swaths of purple, aromatic fields, and the sound of bumblebees droning lazily from plant to plant. We?ll remount our steeds to crest a hill only to be greeted with the first epic view of the Haro Straight and Olympic Peninsula. The day continues with a visit to Lime Kiln State Park, the Alpaca farm, English Camp National Historical Park, and into the village of Roche Harbor. Enjoy a stroll around the sculpture park, the formal gardens, or a coffee and donut from the caf���. We finish the ride at our accommodations for the next 3 nights; the lavish Yurts at Lakedale Resort; complete with spacious accommodations and hot tubs at each yurt. Lunch and dinner included.

Cycling: 25 miles; total elevation gain/loss: 1654'.

Day 2

San Juan ? Meander a prairie ecosystem along the Salish sea to a lighthouse.

Our guides will prepare a hearty breakfast before we start our day riding south through the open meadows of Beaverton and San Juan Valleys towards False Bay. With our first views of snow-covered Mount Baker we make our way further south into the prairie ecosystem rarely found in western Washington. Riding through American Camp we ride the peninsula with expansive views of the Salish sea and the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges on each side. We will eat lunch at the southernmost point of San Juan Island known as Cattle Point Lighthouse. Returning home to clean-up, we will soon head back to Friday Harbor for a meal at one of the local?s favorite restaurant. All meals included.

Cycling: 30 miles; total elevation gain/loss: 1675'.

Day 3

San Juan ? Spot local island treasures from shops to whales and wildlife.

After an early breakfast, we?ll start our day with a 5 mile ride to Friday Harbor for a morning wildlife cruise. Upon return, we will have lunch near Friday Harbor, explore then area, and cycle back to Lakedale Resort via roads we have yet to explore. Dinner this evening will be a guide-prepared island barbeque at a local beach. A low mileage day full of exploration and discovery of island treasures. All meals included.

Cycling: 34.7 miles; total elevation gain/loss: 1688'. Transfer: 1 hour.

Day 4

Lopez/Orcas ? Explore Lopez island?s expansive beaches then ferry to Orcas.

Up early this morning, we have a ferry to catch. After a guide prepared breakfast we shuttle to Friday Harbor to catch the early morning ferry to our day on Lopez island. From the ferry terminal we will ride down the west coast of the island to Lopez Village where we can explore the shops while guides prepare a lunch. The afternoon brings a visit to Agate Beach Country Park and Spencer Spit State Park for eastward views of the North Cascades. The interisland ferry leaving mid-afternoon will bring us to Orcas Island where we transfer from the Orcas Island ferry terminal to our lodging for the next 2 nights; Rosario?s Resort. All meals included.

Cycling: 34.7 miles; total elevation gain/loss: 1688'. Transfer: 1 hour.

Day 5

Orcas ? Summit San Juan?s highest peak then descend to a crystalline lake.

Rosario Resort will provide our breakfast while our guides load up the van for a quick shuttle to Cascade Lake in Moran State Park. After a brief warmup, we start our climb up Mt. Constitution, 5.2 miles, 2000 feet of elevation gain. We will dine at the top of the Mount Constitution summit with views of Bellingham, Mount Baker, and Rosario Strait. An exhilarating downhill back to Cascade Lake and a gentle downhill to Eastsound awaits us. We will do the return miles back to Rosario?s for dinner and another deserved soak in the hot tub. All meals included.

Cycling: 16 miles; total elevation gain/loss: 2253'. Transfer: 15 minutes.

Day 6

Orcas ? Cycle through enchanted forests and lunch al fresco then bid farewell.

We begin our final ride of our time together after breakfast at Rosario?s. Heading back west, we leave Eastsound via Enchanted Forest road, it lives up to the name. As we meander through the forest we ride past open pastures to our lunch stop along the way. We will ride to beautiful Deer Harbor before turning back for our final miles to the Orcas ferry terminal. We will say farewell as guests board the late afternoon ferry to Friday Harbor or the late afternoon ferry back to Anacortes. Breakfast and lunch included.

Cycling: 24 miles; total elevation gain/loss: 1673'.

Gear List

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.

Bicycles

Bicycles, including E-bikes in limited supply, are included in the cost of the tour. However, you are free to bring your own bike to the trip if you prefer. We request that you have your bike tuned, and worn parts replaced, by your local bike shop prior to arrival and that you bring additional parts such as tubes, spare folding tire and any custom parts that would be difficult to replace. If you choose to ship your bike we suggest that you use BikeFlights.Com to arrange for pickup and delivery of your bicycle. We will provide additional information about shipping your bike in your Pre-Departure Information and/or Final Bulletin.

If you are using our bikes and you are���not���bringing a shoe and pedal system (optional), you will need a shoe designed for cycling or cross training to be used with the provided flat pedals. Consider these features: lightweight, closed toe, designed with stiffer soles to provide more efficient energy transfer as you pedal. Stiff soles protect your feet while riding and support the full length of your foot to reduce cramping and fatigue.��� If you bring your own saddle, please bring only the seat and not the seat post. Seat posts are not universal and may not fit the bike you'll be riding. You are welcome to bring a gel seat cover for use on the provided saddle.

Collection of selected R E I Co-op cycling merchandise and snacks laid out to pack for a bike tour

What to pack

Contact Us

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 REI Expert Advice , which has great information to help you prepare for your trip.