“The Outdoor Odysseys team was outstanding, from the willingness to do a custom trip for our group of 45-year old college friends, to providing amazing guides. The guides were very savvy on the islands, route options, the marine biology and they were amazing chefs! The trip was “top notch” from the registration, equipment, planning, and finally, to the food that they brought. While exploring these amazingly beautiful islands we saw orca whales, porpoise and bald eagles!” Trip Advisor 2010 Custom Tour
With over 200 rocky, forested islands to explore the San Juan Islands are a superb kayak destination. Harking back to an earlier time when the islands were used by the native Lummi and Swinomish tribes as summer fishing camps, we traverse the waters as they did, using the wind and currents to aid us as we explore these beautiful islands.
Experience the fun of sea kayaking and camping on a remote island accessible only by boat! The pristine waters of the San Juan Islands and Gulf Islands are host to over 82 resident Orca whales. Other treasured wildlife sightings may include minke whales, harbor and Dall’s porpoises, seals, river otter and a variety of different birdlife ranging from auklets to herons. The region also boasts the second largest bald eagle breeding population in the continental United States.
Click the cover of our new cook book (at right) to get a sneak peak at our famous camp cuisine.
Award Winning Tours – In 2009 we were named one of the “200 Best Outfitters in the World” by National Geographic Adventure Magazine.
Naturalist / Guides – Our seasoned, professional guides, (average age -30) willingly share their knowledge of the whales, bald eagles, harbor seals you may encounter.
Our Cuisine Rocks! – Brie and crackers, smoked salmon pesto fettuccine, organic salad greens, bottled wines and seasonal fruits dipped in a chocolate ganache – CAUTION: You may not lose any weight on this tour!
San Juan County Park Launch – All our trips launch from SJCP putting our guests in the heart of the “Best Orca Whale Habitat on the West Coast”.
Since 1987 – We are the oldest and most experienced kayak company to launch from SJCP.
Best Value – The small things: Dry bags and lunches included as standard (not all companies do), bottled wines & gourmet food = exceptional value.
“This was our second trip with OOK and we, again, had a fabulous time. Tony and Chris were low key enough to keep the group relaxed, but also fun. They were well versed naturalists along with being conservation and safety minded. We saw orcas, salmon jumping, seals, harbor porpoises, jelly fish and most of all, beautiful weather!” – Trip Advisor 2011 3 day tour
Join us for 3 days of paddling in prime orca whale habitat and scenic waterfront camping on islands only accessible by boat. You’ll enjoy enjoy dutch oven apple/pear crisp,organic salad greens, bottled wines and our own organic, fair-trade coffee. JUST BECAUSE WE ARE CAMPING DOESN’T MEAN WE TOTALLY HAVE TO ROUGH IT!
May: 23-25 (Saturday to Monday Memorial Day), 26-27, 29-31
June: 2-4, 5-7, 9-11, 12-14, 16-18, 19-21, 23-25, 26-28, 30-July 2
July: 3-5, 7-9, 10-12, 14-16, 17-19, 21-23, 24-26, 28-30, 31-Aug 2
August: 4-6, 7-9, 11-13, 14-16, 18-20, 21-23, 25-27, 28-30,
September: 1-3, 5-7 (Saturday to Monday Labor Day), 8-10, 11-13, 15-17, 18-20
Duration: 3 day | Length: 32 miles | Season: May – September
Your Outdoor Odysseys guide(s) will meet you in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. Our van will take the group, which generally averages from 6-8 participants, (maximum of 12), to our put-in site on the west side of San Juan Island. After stowing all camping and personal gear, we’ll have a thorough orientation covering the fitting of the boat, paddling technique, safety and boat handling. We won’t get on the water until everybody feels comfortable about paddling. On our first day we’ll work our way northward kayaking along the picturesque west side of San Juan Island. We’ll keep a sharp eye out for whales as we’re in prime Orca habitat. We’ll have spectacular views of the Olympic Mountain range to the south and Vancouver Island to the west. After paddling for a couple of hours along the rocky, convoluted shores of San Juan Island and Henry Island we’ll stop for lunch. After we cross Spieden Channel we’ll be paddling among forested, rocky islands including Spieden, Goose and John.
Our destination for the night is Reid Harbor and Stuart Island, which is only accessible by boat. The campsite is nestled in a clump of red barked Madronas, Cedar and Douglas fir trees. After camp is set up, you can relax while your guides prepare the evening meal. Life doesn’t get much better when you’re sitting at a scenic, secluded waterfront campsite sipping on a glass of wine and eating superbly prepared food after a hearty day of paddling.
On our second day we’ll do “le grand” circumnavigation around Stuart Island passing by many smaller uninhabited islands. We’ll kayak past the abandoned Coast Guard lighthouse on the north side of Stuart and glide past numerous birds including great blue herons, cormorants and bald eagles. We’ll return to our campsite on Stuart for another tastefully prepared dinner. After dinner you’ll have the option of participating in an evening “bioluminescence” paddle.
Our third day will be spent retracing our route back to our put-in site. We’re in prime whale territory again so our chances of seeing the J, K and L pod of resident Orca whales increases. We should arrive at our take-out between 2 and 4 PM.
Our van will pick us up and take our group back to Friday Harbor. You’ll have an hour or more to poke around town before boarding the ferry to Anacortes. Or, if you are spending the night, head back to your hotel or B & B for a well deserved shower and dinner on the town. Friday Harbor has a number of nice restaurants on the island that serve everything from classic Northwest fare to Thai food.
“My Aunt and I had a great time on our July 2-4 kayaking trip with our guides Tony and Sarah. Both guides were quite knowledgeable about the local marine biology, were patient teachers and had admirable people skills that put our novice group at ease and let us all have fun. I especially liked Tony’s superb camping cuisine. The scenery was beautiful, we saw plenty of wildlife and we had great weather.” Trip Advisor
Tony Anderson is back for his 4th season with us. With a degree in geography, excellent back country skills and a flair for creating innovative camp cuisine you’ll be assured of a quality trip with Tony. An avid diver, he has traveled and dove in the Azores, Belize and the Philippines. In a past life he was a teacher of science to middle school students – so he possesses infinite degrees of patience!
Travel: Coming from Seattle? Most guests drive from Seattle to Anacortes & then take the ferry to San Juan Island.
Meeting Place & Time, Day 1: Meet at 8:30 AM in downtown Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, at the Friday Harbor ferry terminal.
Return Place & Time, Day 3: Friday Harbor ferry terminal, 2:00 – 4:00 PM
Lodging: There are three B&B’s within a short walking distance of the ferry terminal. Check out our lodging page for suggested accommodations info.
Luggage: We’ll store any luggage/gear you don’t want to take with you on your trip.
Gear You’ll Need: Water bottle, sunglasses and/or hat, sunscreen, appropriate kayak and camp clothing & footwear (preferrably not cotton or denim – quick-dry, synthetic and/or athletic layers work best, and extra layers are always recommended; Chacos, Tevas, Crocs and water socks are great footwise for paddling, and extra pair of shoes for camp, sleeping bag & pad.
We Provide: Kayaks & all related gear, tent, large & small dry bags, tasteful cuisine, transportation between Friday Harbor and our launch location; *sleeping bag & pad available for rent.
Age Requirements: Since our kayak tours are held in a region with variable weather, tidal, and current conditions, we cannot for safety reasons take young children on trips. Our recommended minimum age is 12 years for any kayak tours in the San Juan Islands. If you have questions or concerns regarding trips with children under the age of 12, please contact us directly for more information.
Cancellations: Please refer to our Terms & Conditions for further information.
© Copyright 2014 Outdoor Odysseys | Kayaking the San Juans for 24 years.