San Juan Islands from Anacortes


Sea Kayak - San Juan Islands

A taste of the San Juan islands. Wheel your kayak onto the ferry to Orcas Island. Then paddle around Shaw Island, camping at Turn Island and stopping at Yellow Island to admire the flowers.

  • Fri, Jun 30, 2023 — Sat, Jul 1, 2023
  • Seattle Sea Kayaking
  • Sea Kayaking
  • Adults
  • *Varies*
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 16.0 nm
  • Maximum Wind: 12 kts
  • Maximum Waves: 2 ft
  • Maximum Currents: 3 kts

8:35am at Anacortes ferry dock.  We will load all gear into kayaks, then park the cars and wheel the loaded kayaks onto the 10:30 ferry to Orcas Island.

This trip provides an introduction to kayak camping in the San Juan Islands. 

Participants should have

- experience paddling in moderate current and wind (such as Deception Pass Intro to currents clinic)

-camping experience (kayak camping or backpacking preferred)

-sufficient conditioning to paddle 8nm at 2.5knot pace two days in a row.

-willingness to contribute to group success and enjoy new experiences

-have kayak wheels that can be used to wheel your loaded kayak onto the ferry and fit into your kayak hatches along with your camping gear, food and water.

Dry suit required.

Please describe your camping, conditioning, paddling in wind, and paddling in current experience in your request for leader permission.  Confirm that you have or are willing to get kayak wheels.

Please read this entire note to ensure that  you understand the trip plan.  There will be extra costs for parking in Anacortes, ferry fare for you and kayak, camping fees.

Day 1:  9.5nm

Meet at ferry dock in Anacortes.  Put kayaks on wheels, load all of your camping and paddling gear (practice this at home before the trip!) into your kayak.  Park the cars.  Wheel the loaded kayak onto the ferry.  Relax during the scenic ferry ride to Orcas Island.  At Orcas Island, we'll wheel the loaded kayaks off the ferry.  Then we'll work together to get all of the kayaks down a narrow (not straight) walkway to the dock where we can launch.  Put your kayak wheels into your kayak hatch.  Launch from dock.

Enjoy a current assist as we paddle through the Wasp Islands where we'll have lunch and then stop at Yellow Island to enjoy the flowers while waiting for slack in the San Juan Channel.  Cross San Juan Channel and paddle to lovely Turn Island where we'll set up camp and enjoy a late dinner.

Day 2: 8.5nm

Enjoy a leisurely morning exploring the beach on an extreme low tide before launching from Turn Island at noon to continue the circumnavigation of Shaw Island via Upright Channel and Harney Channel.  We'll have a mild current assist and for a break along the way to return to Orcas Landing by 3pm in order to have time to get our kayaks ready for the 5:15 ferry back to  Anacortes.


San Juan Islands from Anacortes

  • Rosario Strait & Bellingham WA001

    Sea Trails Lopez, Blakely, Decatur & Shaw Islands WA002

    NOAA Bellingham to Everett No. 18423

    NOAA Strait of Juan de Fuca to Strait of Georgia No. 18421
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

These eight essentials plus The Ten Essentials are required on all sea kayaking trips.  All but the whistle and clothing should be provided with any kayak rental.

  1. Floatation in both ends of the kayak
  2. U.S. Coast Guard approved Personal Flotation Device (PFD)
  3. Paddle
  4. Spray skirt
  5. Bilge pump with floatation
  6. Self-rescue paddle float
  7. Waterproof whistle
  8. Appropriate clothing for the conditions encountered seasonally
  9. kayak wheels (must fit in kayak with your camping gear)
  10. camping gear in dry bags that fit in kayak
  11. food and water for 2 days
  12. tow belt (recommended)
  13. marine radio (recommended)
Trip Reports