San Juan Islands Weekend Kayaking

Trip Length 3 Days
Group Size 4-14
Activity level
Starting from
$899 for REI Members
$975 for non-members
Departures Sep 2020-Sep 2021

Explore the majestic San Juan Islands from the seat of a kayak on this unforgettable 3-day adventure.

Washington’s San Juan Islands are nothing short of magical. Its stunning landscapes and abundant wildlife make it a remarkable place to seek serenity and adventure. Our route is designed to take us through the best kayaking the San Juan’s has to offer. Paddling 7-12 miles per day, we pass tranquil beaches, observe marine birds and harbor seals, and spot the occasional orca from our boats.

From the quaint island community of Roche Harbor, we pack our boats and set out for a weekend of adventure. Spend two nights on charming Stuart Island, home to great hiking and beautiful campsites. While gliding through Haro Strait and Boundary Pass, we keep our eyes peeled for Dall's porpoise, endangered Steller sea lions and many different types of birds soaring overhead. Our guides are experienced naturalists, trained to help spot the creatures of the San Juan Islands. This journey hooks us with adventure and inspires us with beauty.

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Trip Highlights

  • Soak in the magic of Washington's San Juan Islands on an active weekend getaway
  • Spend two nights camping on Stuart Island while dining on local, organic food
  • Kayak 7-10 miles per day, explore the island by foot, and spot marine wildlife


This trip is rated Moderate [3]. Trip members should be capable of ocean kayaking for up to 6 hours per day in calm to moderately rough sea and weather conditions.

  • Sea Kayaking

What's Included

Professional instruction and guiding; meals as noted in the daily itinerary; one group arrival transfer Friday Harbor-Roche Harbor; one group departure transfer Roche Harbor-Friday Harbor; 3-person tents for double occupancy use for 2 nights' camping; cooking gear and eating utensils; tandem kayaks (no singles); related kayaking equipment including paddles, PFDs and dry bags.


Island camping, 2 nights

Your Adventure Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to San Juan Island, paddle to Stuart Island to hike and camp.

Our trip begins today in Friday Harbor, Washington, located in the San Juan Islands archipelago. We meet at 9am at a park near the Friday Harbor Ferry Terminal, then transfer to Roche Harbor to prepare for our kayaking excursion. Packing into dry bags, we load our kayaks and begin paddling along Spieden Channel and Haro Strait, a favorite area for orca whale pods to find salmon. Our picnic lunch stop will be on a picturesque beach on Henry or Stuart Island. Returning to our kayaks, we paddle to Prevost Harbor and set up camp for the night. There is free time to relax, or perhaps head out for a late afternoon paddle or hike. Tonight's dinner, made with locally sourced ingredients, in prepared by our guides. Lunch and dinner included.

Sea kayaking: 7-10 miles on open water with waves, tides, currents.

Day 2

Enjoy a full day of paddling around Stuart, Johns and Spieden islands.

We load up our daypacks with lunch foods, water and snacks, then kayak around Stuart, Johns, and Spieden Islands. There are several wildlife refuges in the area, and it is not uncommon to observe marine birds and harbor seals in the hundreds. Porpoise are also a common sight throughout the day, and in Boundary Pass or Haro Strait we hope to see orca whales. We make several stops to eat lunch, take a short hike and enjoy the beaches. In the late afternoon we return to our camp and head out for a hike, or take time to relax and soak in the views. Dinner is prepared in camp. All meals included.

Sea kayaking: 10-12 miles on open water with waves, tides, currents.

Day 3

Kayak through Boundary Pass and Haro Strait, return to Friday Harbor.

Our final day on the water is spent paddling from Prevost Harbor towards Turn Point in Boundary Pass. We expect wonderful views of Mount Baker and the Canadian Cascades Mountains. Reaching Haro Strait, a clear day brings views over 100 miles to the south of Mount Rainier and the Olympic Mountains. After a break for lunch on the west side of Stuart or Henry Island, we paddle to Roche Harbor to unpack our kayaks. The trip concludes with a transfer to the Friday Harbor Ferry Terminal. We plan to arrive by 4pm. Departures by float plane or ferry can be booked for any time after 5pm. Breakfast and lunch included.

Sea kayaking: 7-10 miles on open water with waves, tides, currents.

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.

What to pack

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Travel documents

  • Airline Tickets (Confirmation and Itinerary)
  • Final Bulletin (Emailed Prior to Departure Date)
  • Photo Identification

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.