The San Juan Islands are located in the northwest corner of the contiguous United States between the US mainland and Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.
This archipelago includes San Juan Island, Orcas Island, Lopez Island, Shaw Island and Stuart Island and offers a rich opportunity to experience sea kayaking at its best.
Sea Kayaking the San Juan Islands
The San Juan Islands are a rather protected archipelago and offer a great kayaking environment with relatively calm waters.
They only get about half the rain Seattle gets, and during the summer months, temperatures run generally in the 70s and 80s and occasionally even reach into the low 90s during the day.
Wild Life You May See
As with any tour, what wild life you’ll see will be hit or miss depending on the season, but wild life you have a good chance of seeing include seals, orca whales, seagulls, bald eagles, cormorants, oystercatchers, belted kingfisher, and other birds.
Best Time of Year to See Orca Whales
Orca whales are spotted in the waters around Washington State’s San Juan Islands starting in late May, June, July, and the first half of August. If you’re really lucky, you might even spot them going into early September but sightings really drop off starting mid-August.
However, the very best month to visit, if you really want to increase your chances of seeing the Orca whales, is the month of June. The longer your tour, the greater your chances of seeing one of these magnificent creatures.
San Juan Islands Kayak Tours
There are a number of companies in the area that offer kayak and whale tours with something for everyone. San Juan Island Outfitters offers a day tour, a kayaking and camping tour, kayak with the whales tour, and a kayaking tour for kids and family.
Other companies to check out include:
Sea kayaking in the San Juan Islands is convenient, scenic, and affordable, and offers an opportunity to see nature from a whole new perspective.