Olympic Peninsula Outfitters?

I’m starting to plan a vacation including some time on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State.

This will include at least one day on the water. I’ll have a newbie with me, so we’ll probably want a tandem. I’m open to either a straight rental with suggestions for a day trip, or a guided day trip.

Recommendations for and experiences with outfitters is appreciated.

…What’s your itinerary?

What are you hoping to do?

There are some good one.

Get out on the water. See some beautiful scenery, some wildlife, hopefully some whales.

Looking to do a “day trip”. We’ll be there in late September, (I’ll have to look up sun rise and set times). Leisurely pace, not challenging conditions - as I wrote, I’ll have an inexperienced paddler with me.

Out of where?
San Juans?


Port Angeles?

We have lots of paddling and outfitters. Ditto for our friends in Victoria and Vancouver.

Can you narrow it down? How long are you going to be out here? Are you out on work and hoping to cop a day here and there or are you coming out to paddle?

Right, where
Port Angeles would be the first choice I think, but Anacortes was on the list of possibilities.

Will be there for a full week, all vacation. The outline plan is a two days in Seattle for the city sights, two or three days in and around Olympic National Park for hiking, paddling and whatever and two days in Vancouver. Although we’re debating scraping Vancouver in favor of more days around Olympic National Park.

We will be devoting one full day to a paddling trip, but would consider another if there’s sufficiently unique sights to see by paddling in two different locations.

Anacortes was on the list earlier, but got dropped for ONP, but if Vancouver is out then Anacortes could be back on.

At this point we’ve got plenty of flexibility. Thanks for the help.

next time
come out for a week or two (or three!) with an experienced partner, put in in the South Sound, and start paddling! I paddled from Olympia to Seattle last year and had a great time. Four nights in four different kayak-only camp sites, two of which were free. Seals, crabs, clams, moon snails, pigeon guillemots, semi-palmated plovers, a marbled murrelet … there was life around every bend. To do it right, join the WWTA, get a copy of the Cascadia Marine Trail Guidebook, a set of maps, and start dreaming and planning!




Long term planning

Long term planning involves transitioning inexperienced paddler into an experienced paddler interested in doing such things.

Olympic Raft and Kayak just outside
of Port Angeles.


heh heh

Port Angeles
I have a sit on top, so the places I paddle can be different than ones for sit in kayaks. I think Raft & Kayak is the one I pass on my way to camp at Salt Creek Campground in Port Angeles. I have no experience using them since I have my own kayak.

I was just camping in Port Angeles. When I’m there, I kayak in Freshwater Bay, just north of the kayak place, could be between Port Angeles and Joyce, which is the next town.

Freshwater Bay has beautiful small coves along the Straight of Juan de Fuca. The water looks like the Caribbean; it’s green in the coves and very beautiful. If you wanted to, you could take lunch or a snack and pull onto a beach in one of the coves. These pics don’t do it justice:


If you are in that area, Tongue Point, in the Salt Creek Campground, is fantastic for tidepooling at low tide. You’ll be amazed!!! There are lots of various kinds of starfish and sea anemones and other sea creatues that I don’t even know what they are trapped in pockets in the rocks when the water recesses.

The Straight of Juan de Fuca can be very windy at times, so it’s something you may want to watch for if you actually kayak in that area.


If you want to plan a trip around tides, you can use http://www.saltwatertides.com.

I rented out a kayak eons ago in the San Juan Islands, so I don’t have any info on what is best to do if you went there. Kayak outfitters should be able to give you a round up of what kind of trips you can do so you can pick what suits you, length & difficulty, etc.

While in the area, a trip to Hurricane Ridge, where you drive up to the mountain top in the Olympics, there’s a visitor’s center up there, is a must see!!! The views are incredible!!! And you don’t have to hike at all to see them. For miles, you see snow capped mountains. It’s spectacular. There are some really easy short fast easy trails you can take from the visitor’s center. I highly recommend it. This is a good example of what you would see:


I think it’s $15 for the entrance fee for Hurricane Ridge, since you’re entering the Olympic National Park. Of course it’s best to go on a clear day. You can contact the visitor’s center to ask what the conditions are, because you can’t always tell from below.


de Fuca Downwind?

Did I meet you there?


Agree on Olympic Raft & Kayak…
They have a nice shop not far from Freshwater Bay and a ton of great inventory. I hope that I am not off base here saying that they offer nice camping. Their property is sweet and they treat you well. They have quality rental / demos and guided trips.

Salt Creek Campground
Where? I was camping in the Salt Creek Campground July 6 & 7, leaving on the 8th. If you ran into me, I would have had my Chihuahua with me. Coincidentally, there were 3 other Chihuahuas there camping with people.

My husband met someone. From our camping spot, he saw a kayak way out in the Straight. When he saw him heading towards Crescent Bay, he took our Subaru to speak with him (on land). I was not there. The guy was in a small Pelican. It made me think, if he could be out there, we could have too, but also, I need calmer waters, because I have to take my dog with me, as I can’t secure her in my pop up camper.

I would have liked to speak with that guy to see how he isn’t deluged with water from huge waves I would think the cargo ships and other ships create. I know some do create nice size waves in the Puget Sound where I kayak a lot.

I’m a little hard to miss in WA. I have long curly brown hair, and my Chihuahua is a show stopper. Other gals here tend to have short died blonde hair, trying to look like when they were tiny Scandanavian tow heads:)


Bowen Islands?
Jon, I skimmed thru your blog. I see you’ve been on some pretty nice trips. Have done…is it called the Bowen Islands? I think it was in B.C., a group of islands you kayak around and some portage is involved and you camp there as you go along.

I don’t recall much about it as I looked into it long ago, and found that dogs were not allowed.

If I had wanted to find other sit on top kayakers, would you have any idea how I’d find them. I saw one kayaking group on meetup.com, but they all have sit ins, so I’m thinking I’m too slow in my sit on top to keep up and go on long trips. I have a Heritage Redfish 14’. I see sit ins do long day trips.


Broken Islands?
Maybe it was called the Broken Islands.