See orcas around Victoria BC?

Can anyone recommend an outfit for kayak rentals or kayak tours - near Victoria or Friday Harbor - that offer the chance to see orcas?

There are several on the web, and they all sound good.

But it is hard to know which might be the best.


Dad and 4-year-old son

goal - paddle or orcas?
If the goal is to see orcas, I’d probably jump in one of the power boat whale watch tours. This would icnrease your chances exponentially.

If the goal is to paddle with a chance of orcas, then maybe hit one up (can’t recommend one).

I am not an expert on the area, but I have paddled various places on the Salish sea area for about 10 days total (including 1 day from Victoria itself), and have never seen orcas from kayaks. I think it more the exception than the norm.

Did see a gray whale 2 summers ago from shore off the SW side of Victoria, so you never know. More and more gray whales are becoming residents over the summer and not going all the way to Alaska any more.

Thanks for your comments.


Go up to Telegraph Cove

– Last Updated: Apr-15-12 11:30 PM EST –

I second the other poster's comment.

You increase your chance of seeing orcas if you drive up to Telegraph Cove (a cute little village) and get an outfitter there to go out with you.

Still no guarantee though. We didn't see any up close, though saw some splashes that's probably made by orcas. Bottom line, a nice paddle and only a CHANCE to see orcas.

Last trip I took through the Gulf Islands we saw a pod of Orcas in the bay at Mayne Island when the ferry was pulling in. Unfortunately, no Orca sighting from the kayak itself (though we did see some dolphins).

From Friday Harbor on eastern San Juan Island, there are sea kayak tour companies that have boats stored overnight in San Juan County Park on the western shore. Haro Strait is where 1 or 2 pods of Orcas spend time at certain times of the year. The Sea Kayak places have daily tours and may know about previous sightings and if Orcas have been or are in the area.

You can camp at San Juan County Park. If you have your own sea kayak you can launch there too. I believe the caretaker for San Juan County Park may also know if Orcas are in the area.

See orcas around Victoria BC?
Check out Ocean River in Vic BC.

But power boats are the best method for this, though i’m not a fan of high speed boats buzzing the orcas whom already have too much human interference out there.

If you get to San Juan Island in WA State, Lime Kiln Park is an easy way to experience orcas from land.

This group will tell you about recent Orca and other whale spottings on a daily basis. If you go on a kayak, stay 200yds from the whales.