San Juan Islands

Hello, I am new to sea-kayaking and taking new adventures since my husband passed away. I am planning a 5 day trip to the San Juan Islands-any recommendations on guides; best month to go; best island to explore?

Thank you for your help. Also, I live in So. Oregon and taking my dog but looking for a good kennel while I am waterbound, maybe in Anacortes?

Outdoor Odysseys
I asked Shawna Franklin the same question, owner of Body Boat & Blade from the Washington State area. She recommended Outdoor Odysseys. My wife and I are signed up for a trip in late June-early July. The best time of the year to paddle will depend on your goals. I think there is a chart on their web site giving you ideas of what to expect during different times in the paddling season. Be sure to check out the web site too. We are staying in hostels the night before and after the trip which is a nice way to save a few bucks too-since we have to fly in/out from Michigan.


REI Adventures
I went to the San Juans via REI Adventures. They contract their trips with top of the line outfitters. I was very pleased with the whole package…including having a travel coordinator to handle transportation arrangements. I really liked Stuart Island…in particular, Prevost Harbor.

Thank you
Thanks so much for the info…I have been investigation Outdoor Odyssey too!! I see they travel the Haro Strait and that is the biggest whale travel route. Thank you, thank you.

Thank you for the info on REI…I hadn’t thought of them…awww, more choices!! Looks good, I like the itinerary

What to do in the San Juans
If I had time to paddle in the SJI’s, I’d rather take a class with Body Boat Blade than take a guided trip. But that’s just me! That Shawna would recommend someone speaks highly of them.

The scenery is okay, the marine environment is siomply incredible!

I second (third?) Outdoor Odysseys
I went with them a couple of years ago - it was a great trip. The guides were cool, the food great and the paddling excellent. We took the trip to Stuart Island - I would highly recommend this.

Check out Alder Creek trips for the SJI
Alder Creek Kayak and Canoe runs quite a few 4-day and some 7-day trips in the San Juan’s from spring to fall. Check their website at I have personally taken about 3 of their 7 day trips over the years. The four day trip usually puts in on the north end of Guemes Is and base camps at Pelican Beach on Cypress Is. Possible day trips over to Orcas Is, or circumnavigate Cypress with lunch on Strawberry Is.

They have a very knowledgable staff and all are instructors as well. Flatpick (Steve) is a co-owner of the shop. You may recognize his name as a frequent and respected p netter. Have fun, the SJI are one of the premier kayak destinations in the pacific northwest. Less crowded in early fall, but sunny and warm in July and August.

I also second Body Boat Blade if you prefer getting great instruction.