San Juan Islands Weekend Kayaking

Trip Length 3 Days
Group Size 4-14
Difficulty
3

Starting from

$799

for REI Members

$875 for non-members

Departures

Jul 2019-Sep 2020

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

Activities

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; 4-person tents for double occupancy use for 2 nights' camping; cooking gear and eating utensils; tandem kayaks (singles are not available) and related kayaking equipment; 3 dry bags (two 20 liter and one 10 liter).

Accommodations

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.

San Juan Islands Weekend Kayaking Departures

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

Packed by REI

  • All Group Cooking Gear
  • Dry Bags (1 at 10L and 2 at 20L)
  • Group First Aid Kit
  • Paddles
  • PFD and Spray Skirt
  • PFD and Spray Skirt
  • Tandem Kayaks
  • Tent(s)

Packed by you (Required)

Recommended

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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 1-800-622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (1-800-426-4840) 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.

Meet your guides

Jacob W.

Born in Colorado, Jacob has traveled the world in search of adventure. He's been leading outdoor adventures since 2003, and has been guiding in the San Juans for six years. He lives on San Juan Island with his wife and dog in a restored vintage Airstream.

Meet your guides

Sarah M.

A guide since 2014, Sarah grew up with a deep affinity for the outdoors and earned a B.S. in wildlife and conservation biology. You might find her hiking in the woods with her camera, on the coast exploring tide pools, or curled up reading in her hammock.

Adventure Expert

Heather

Loading up a kayak and paddling out to explore the San Juan Islands is my ideal weekend away. I can't imagine a more authentic way to experience these islands.

Lovin

A Perfect Short Getaway


This was my third REI trip in as many years, and it was another fantastic adventure. I didn't have a week to spare, so this 3 day trip fit in nicely. It's great only bringing a sleeping bag and clothes on the airplane...

Read more reviews