Jump to content

trip to san juan islands


Recommended Posts


We have had to make some last minute trip changes from mountaineering in the north Cascade Mountains to sea kayaking. We are thinking about the San Juan Islands because they are on our list of places to sea kayak.

We are self-sufficient and would like to do our own trip. We have nine or ten days. Can anyone recommend where we should go and where we should rent kayaks? Are there any hazards specific to the area that we should know about?

Also, does anyone know about the rules/etiquette on camping? Do we need to camp in designated camp sites? With all of the commercial outfitters we were also wondering how crowded it might be and how difficult it would be to get a campsite.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

We had a wonderful circumnavigation of Orcas Island 3 years ago. Spent 5 nights as I remember. There are some paddle-in camp grounds, some that handle bigger boats, and some crowded places but we had a great time everywhere. Trip planning is crucial since there are very large (enormous) and very confusing tidal currents. It certainly is not an isolated area: but it is beautiful.

We went with Crystal Seas (877-732-7877 - www.crystalseas.com). Ours was a guided trip but I would contact them for information. Mention my name to Johan (the owner) and he might hang up. Not true.

They were first rate, environmentally concerned, and helpful to all. I have referred other paddlers to them with success.

Al Coons


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't miss Body Boat & Blade, to be sure: and if you can extend your trip to the Gulf Islands just north of there (they're all the same islands geologically, there's just an international border between them) the area is very kayak- and camping- friendly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I recently did a 5-day instructional program with Body Boat Blade on Orcas Island and I can offer another recommendation for them. Shawna and Leon, as well as Djuna and Matt who work for them are all very knowledgable about the area. They rent most equipment and I'm sure they can assist with trip planning. But don't send long emails - they're responsive, but they don't like to spend a lot of time on the computer. You're better off calling.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...