Ready for Adventure?
2-Day Intro to Kayak Camping
Cost: $499 per person plus sales tax
2024 Trip Dates: June 8-9, June 15-16, June 22-23, June 29-30, July 13-14, July 20-21, July 27-28, August 10-11, August 17-18, August 24-25, September 7-8
Start: 10:30 AM
End: Return to kiosk between 2:00-3:00 pm
Distance: roughly 10 miles total
Minimum Age: 12
Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate. No prior experience necessary!
Want to get into kayak camping but don’t have the gear or know where to start? Look no further! We provide ALL the necessary gear, including experienced guides who are excited to share their love for the San Juan Islands with you. Paddle extremely stable tandem kayaks with tons of dry storage to islands and campsites that are close-by yet relatively secluded. Amazing views, time on the water, wildlife sightings, and a heck of a lot of FUN highlight this 2-day kayak camping trip. Whether you are completely new to kayak camping, want to bring your family along, want to sharpen your skills or pack a lot in a short amount of time, this is the trip for you. Designed to be a balance of paddling, hiking, exploring, relaxing, and learning, this new 2-day itinerary has something to offer for everyone!
San Juan Kayak Expeditions is the oldest, yet smallest outfitter in the area. We pride ourselves in small group tours with high quality equipment and strive to make everyone feel welcome and included. With hundreds of positive reviews to support our claim, we feel confident that a paddle with us will change your life for the better.
This super-popular overnighter covers 19 miles and traverses prime transient and southern resident orca country! (Disclaimer: The number or resident orca sightings in the area has decreased due to the diminishing Chinook salmon population, however we are seeing a record number of transient orcas or mammal eaters. Good thing we have a healthy seal population!) The trip is planned only when tidal currents are just right to aid our journey each day, but the trip is for the fit and adventurous! After a day of paddling and hiking, we will enjoy a seaside campsite on an island accessible only by boat. After a scrumptious dinner, we will hike to a secret lookout to watch the sunset over the Canadian Gulf and Vancouver Islands. From our mossy aerie, we will be able to view feeding Dall’s and harbor porpoise and harbor seals below, while sunset colors bathe the British Columbia Coast Range in pink and purple!
This trip launches from Griffin Bay to the southeast, but never looks back, because it finishes in Westcott Bay at our exclusive landing beach on the northwest tip of San Juan Island. It has an exciting, two-mile crossing into Spieden Channel with a river of current behind us and intimately explores rugged, steep coastlines and inter-tidal zones where sea stars, sea cucumbers, and urchins go about their daily lives!
We are located just two blocks directly up the hill from the ferry dock in Friday Harbor. Follow East Street past ferry loading lanes, cross to The Hungry Clam, past Serendipity Used Books, and The Market Chef. We are on the corner of A and Nichols Street between Cynthia’s Bistro and Roy’s Drive-Thru. Look for our Kayak Tours sign and umbrellas inside the white, picket fence. We will meet here at 10:15am on the morning of the trip. The first thing we will do is finalize any paperwork, meet your guide and group, and take a look at the map! We will then load the van and head down to the launch location. Just a five-minute drive away, there we will find the boats and gear waiting on us. Your guide will go over packing the boats, gear distribution, tips and tricks, and answer any questions that you have. We will then have an opportunity to use the restrooms before pairing up and getting comfortable in the boats. The first leg is about an hour to Turn Island where we will have lunch and stretch our legs! A beautiful loop trail circumnavigating the island is a nice way to walk off your lunch and prepare for an afternoon paddle down into Griffin Bay. Protected from winds and currents, Griffin Bay is a perfect place to acquire skills and become confident on the open water! Home to dozens of species of migrating and native maritime bird species, there is a lot to take in. Surrounded by snow-covered mountains on virtually all sides, as well as rocks full of hauled-out harbor seals basking in the sun, this is a picturesque afternoon. Arrive at camp in the early afternoon before setting up camp and having options to relax and beachcomb or paddle down to Jackle’s Lagoon where there are trails to access American Camp National Historical Park. Lighthouse views, Olympic Mountain views, Cascade Mountain views, and breathtaking archipelago views highlight this afternoon outing.
Upon returning to camp, enjoy a wonderful dinner together before an evening spent around a campfire reminiscing on the action-packed day. Drift off to sleep with the lapping sound of the shoreline and a star-filled sky, or if you are feeling super adventurous, try out a bioluminescent paddle!Day 2
Beachside breakfast and coffee with snow-covered mountain views hit different! Enjoy a relaxing morning before breaking camp and creeping along the shoreline, looking for all types of wildlife. Families of river otters, harbor seal colonies, and even vibrant and eccentric-looking invertebrate species (depending on the tide level) make every nook and cranny more interesting than one could imagine.
Arrive back at Jackson Beach in time for a late lunch before parting ways and embarking on the next part of your adventure.
Catch a ferry back to Anacortes or rent a moped and cruise around the island!
All meals use fresh ingredients and are wholesome, delicious, and nutritious and there is plenty of it! Our menu options are as follows:
Lunches are typically charcuterie style with salami, nuts, cheese, fruit and sometimes we do tuna salad with our local, sustainably caught High Seas Tuna.
Breakfast includes gourmet pressed coffee (from San Juan Roasting Company), cocoa, fresh melons, bananas, blueberries, and yogurt on super nutty granola. This get-up-an-go meal allows us to get on the water to catch the tide or encounter a pod of whales.
If you have dietary preferences like vegan, veggie, gluten or dairy-free, we will be happy to work with you! Our guides will often bring desserts or wine to share 😊
Our meals are active and fun. You’ll enjoy every bite!
Thank you for choosing San Juan Kayak Expeditions for your sea kayaking adventure. We look forward to meeting you and sharing with you the beauty and wonder of the San Juan Islands. To be prepared for a fun and safe kayaking trip please read the information carefully and well in advance of your scheduled trip.
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We had a great time with San Juan Kayak Expeditions! We did a multi-day trip (Orca-quest). The guides were fantastic and made us feel very comfortable. We had minor experience kayaking and certainly no experience at this scale. Instructions were clear during crossings and safety was number one. The scenery was beautiful, accommodation was as expected for a camping/ multi day trip. Even though we never found orcas on this quest, there were dozens of seals, birds, smaller whales, dolphins, and several other kinds of wildlife. I would highly recommend this company if you are seeking an adventure! – jellykm17, Oregon