San Juan Islands from Anacortes


Sea Kayak - San Juan Islands Archipelago Circumnavigation

Circumnavigate the entire island archipelago of San Juan County in 4 days using significant current assist throughout.

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
  • Sea Kayak IV
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 80.0 nm
  • Maximum Wind: 20 kts
  • Maximum Waves: 3 ft
  • Maximum Currents: 5 kts
  • Pace: 3 kt

Meet at the Washington Park day use area next to the boat ramp.  We will plan on launching at 1pm.  Please arrive early enough to pack, park and be on the water on time.

While we will have significant tidal assist throughout, this is a long and challengin paddle. Weather conditions can make it more so.  We will not plan on having to paddle hard, but headwinds could make for strenuous days.

Participants must have efficient rescue and self-rescue skills that are current.  Having a reliable roll is desired.

Planned itinerary:

Wednesday, May 26
24 nm
Meet at Washington Park boat launch.  We will launch at 1pm, so please arrive early enough to get packed, move car to parking and get on the water on time.  We’ll ride the flood up Rosario Straight and then outside Clark, Matia, Sucia and Patos Islands.  Expect to arrive at the campsite on Patos around 7-8pm.

Thursday, May 27
18.5 nm
Be ready to be on the water by 9:00 in order to catch the ebb currents for the day. Ride the strong ebb outside of Skipjack Island and on to the NE end of Stuart. Then hug the south coast of Stuart, cross to Speiden and then down to Posey Island.  Expect to arrive at Posey early in the afternoon. After leisurely camp set up  and down time, paddle into Roche Harbor for dinner.

Friday, May 28
21 nm
Depending on the weather we will launch between 8am and 10am. (Forecast headwinds will dictate an earlier launch).  We’ll paddle out around Henry Island and ride the ebb down the west coast of San Juan Island. We’ll time it so we go through Cattle Pass on the flood, likely playing a bit at the standing wave south of Cattle Point.  Expect to arrive at Griffin Bay campground around mid-afternoon.

Saturday, May 29
17 nm
Launch at 10am to catch full ebb out of Cattle Pass and then a leisurely tour of the outside of all the islands south of Lopez.  We’ll stop at Iceberg Point for a leisurely break. We’ll want to be rounding Watmough Head around 3:30pm to catch the start of the flood up Rosario Straight. Expect to be back at Washington Park around 5-6pm.


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
Trip Reports