Lake Union

Urban sea kayaking at its best with an incredible view of the Seattle skyline. Paddle from one of many launch points on the lake, and enjoy one of the many places to dine and some parks along the way to stretch your sea legs.

launch Points

On the Water

Lake Union

There are many restaurants around the lake that have paddle in access and temporary moorage for diners.

Lake Union to Shilshole Bay

5 nm one-way, Difficulty: Sea Kayak II

Paddle across the north end of Lake Union, through the Fremont Cut and Lake Washington Ship Canal, transit the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, and paddle into Shilshole Bay. Land at Golden Gardens and shuttle back to your cars or paddle back to your launch point.

Lake Union to Lake Washington

9.2 nm round trip, difficulty: Sea Kayak II

Paddle from the Northwest Outdoor Center through the Lake Washington Ship Canal, Portage Bay, the Montlake Cut, and Union Bay to Lake Washington. Stops and places to visit along the way include Montlake Playfield Park, Arboretum Park, Madison Beach, and Gasworks Park. Note that there are several areas long this route to watch out for boat traffic.

information for leaders


Please review the posted activities and communicate with your fellow leaders to be sure that you do not have a conflict with your trip plan if your trips are planned for the same day.

  • Land Manager: Land Manager Varies
  • Parking Permit Required: see Land Manager
  • Recommended Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Route/Place Capacity: 12
  • MapTech Seattle and Lake Washington No. 101
Trip Reports

This is a list of titles that represent the variations of trips you can take at this route/place. This includes side trips, extensions and peak combinations. Not seeing a title that fits your trip? Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.

  • Lake Union: Northwest Outdoor Center
  • Lake Union: Northlake Marina
  • Lake Union: Gas Works Park
  • Lake Union: Sunnyside Ave Boat Ramp
  • Lake Union: South Lake Union Park
  • Lake Union to Shilshole Bay
  • Gasworks Park to Golden Gardens
  • Lake Washington Ship Canal
  • Lake Union to Lake Washington

There are no resources for this route/place. Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.