View Full Version : Is Kayaking at the San Juan Islands worth the trip?

08-12-2014, 02:07 PM
I am headed to Washington next week and I am trying to finalize my itinerary. As of now, I will be staying in Forks for two nights with plans to hike nearby (including in the Hoh Rainforest) and see the beaches. I would love to do a half-day kayaking tour and was planning to do so from Port Angeles, but now I'm not sure if I should do that or kayak off of San Juan Island. Is it worth adding a five and a half hour drive to San Juan Island to kayak there instead of at Freshwater Bay? I want to kayak somewhere very beautiful (I know that's not an issue) and am hoping to see a lot of wildlife, especially marine mammals.

08-12-2014, 03:43 PM
Scratch that. I think it's really just not reasonable considering the short time I will be in Washington and the other activities I want to do. I'm going to keep my plans to kayak with a company in Port Angeles. Does anyone have a recommendation? Right now it's between Adventures Through Kayaking and Olympic Raft and Kayak, but I'm open to recommendations.

08-12-2014, 08:20 PM
Good plan, as it takes many more than five hours to San Juan Island from where you'll be on the coast. Given the shortness of your trip, IMHO you are making the right decision on this. The San Juans are worth more time on another trip. They are gorgeous, more beautiful than the coast, but they do lack one very important feature, the temperate rainforest, which is something else.

Taminica might know something about kayak tours with the companies you're considering as she recently did a kayak tour up here, albeit in the San Juans.

08-13-2014, 08:27 AM
@yeb90, I just spent 5 days kayaking there and agree with @monkeylady. The SJ Islands are gorgeous, but a good kayaking trip there deserves at least a full day. I am not familiar with the two companies you mentioned. My kayaking trips in that area have been with Crystal Seas Kayaking and Sea Quest Expeditions -- and I was very happy with their guides and services. Have a great time!

08-13-2014, 01:20 PM
Thank you both for validating my decision. :) This will be my first visit to the west coast and I keep feeling like I need to fit everything into this one short trip which is, of course, impossible and not true. I'm sad I won't be visiting the SJ Islands, but hopefully I'll be able to visit them in the future. In the end, I booked a sunrise trip with Olympic Raft and Kayak. The lady I spoke to before making the reservation said that the animals are more active in the early morning so we should see more and, of course, it will be much quieter on the water than later in the day. I expect that the sunrise over the water will be gorgeous!

08-13-2014, 05:20 PM
Good call. And I hope you have a wonderful adventure and love our neck of the woods.