kayaking in seattle

Hi, will be going to seattle on business around the 18th of august and was wondering if anyone can suggest a great paddle that’s not too rough, but pretty with a good chance of seeing wildlife. Your info’s much appreciated.


Check out kayak academy
Check with Kayak Academy, they should be able to help you out.



Head to the
Arboretum near the University of WA. Plenty of wildlife, flat, calm (as long as you don’t go under the bridge/through the lock and fight with the power boats :)) and well worth the trip. I believe you can rent canoes through the U of W, but there are several kayak rental companies in the area as well.

you could do lake union loop for a close by skyline views paddle.

Or if you wanted more nature, I’d take the quick ferry across to poulsbo or do vashon island.

Good Site!
Check out this site:


Freshwater or saltwater?
How vigorous?

Guided or unguided?

Renting or paddling your own?

What he said…
But if you want a nice freshwater slough type paddle, you can rent all your gear at Enitai Beach under I-90 and paddle into the Mercer Sough for a couple of hours. The rental place is call Cascade Canoe and Kayak in Bellevue, WA. It would be unusual not to see herons, kingfishers, eagles, turtles, otters, assorted ducks and native birdlife. The place is teeming with life. Google Mercer Slough for more info. Easy paddle, suitable for anyone.

If you have no car, North West Outdoor Center (NWOC) is right on Lake Union and will rent you what you need to take in many sights of Seattle. Not too many vendors on salt water, maybe Alki Beach. If you are familiar with yahoo groups, you can join Puget Sound Paddlers Network (PSPN) and ask if anyone with an extra boat would take you paddling for free. You might be suprised what happens.

Jetty Island/Lake Union Area

Here is a site for a rental place and it gives you links to click on which may not mean too much if you are not from this area and cannot really figure out what you’re looking at. Click on “houseboats” and “gas works” & “arboretum loop”. The houseboats are interesting. You would go through the “cut” if you rented from the University of Washington. It’s wavy, but very doable in the cut.

The arboretum loop is short w/a lot of ducks that may all look the same w/o binoculars. Eagles can really be seen anywhere. It’s just timing and looking around for that white head and tail feathers and Great Blue Herons are here and there.

Gas Works park is an interesting spot to watch the float planes take off which can be done from sitting in the park itself.

Also in Lake Union, at one end, are some restaurants I think you may be able to paddle up to for lunch. I’m not really sure what else is at that end that may be interesting, because really, it’s a kayaking trip, you can always eat lunch anywhere at some other time if that end is not scenic.

Then there is the town of Everett. It’s about 15 mins. north of Seattle. They have Jetty Island off their mainland w/a boat launch which is free for kayakers. Jetty Island is about 4 miles around. You can pull up and get off to walk trails, look around, picnick if you bring lunch or snacks. I just saw a lot of seals there, on the mainland side w/Great Blue Herons lining the rock wall. They do tend to blend in w/the scenery there, but I saw 7 in a row, but I like to kayak close to land or an island to see such things.


Another link for various trips, including the Lake Union stuff & Jetty Island:



Ballard Locks On Foot
An on foot, by car trip, about 10-15 min north of Seattle. You can kayak up to the locks, but you’d miss the locks themselves. They have bathrooms and very nicely manicured gardens and grounds. If you have the time, an easy access place to visit w/free parking and free entrance is the Ballard Locks, or it’s called the Chittendon Locks:


You may be able to call a number to see if the salmon are viewable through an underwater bldg w/huge windows where you can see the fish going upstream. Different salmon run at different times & sometimes not at all. July can be a good time for viewing.

Besides seeing the fish going upstream, they will jump out of the water outside the bldg. from time to time and there can be seals present. The lock itself is interesting, like the one in Panama. Boats get locked in, water gets equalized, then the locks open again to let the boats through. It’s one of the biggest highlights in WA.

The grounds are pretty w/grassy hillsides for picknicking or just watching the boat traffic go by. It could be combined w/your choice of kayaking trips to stop by since it may be all in about the same area.


Hood River
if you can get there.

we rented a car and loaded it on the ferry to Bainbridge…

Hood River, OR to Bainbridge Island, WA.

I don’t get it.


Hood Canal

– Last Updated: Jul-26-08 10:33 PM EST –

the one next to Olympic Park...

seems like you would have figured that out... from Bainbridge... yes...

are you new to the area?