One day San Juan Island Kayaking Trips: Kayak with Orca Whales


One Day San Juan Island Kayaking Trips: Orca Whale Watching - Seattle Washington

Why choose Sea Quest for your One Day Kayak Trip on San Juan Island?

  • Lowest priced kayak tours to the prime killer whale zone where most whale sightings occur.
  • Kayak the spectacular shores of Lime Kiln “Whale Watch” Park & historic Lighthouse.
  • Best route for kayaking with orca whales in the US – nearly 90 resident killer whales from May-Oct.
  • Most time spent in the kayaks searching for whales & enjoying the natural beauty, less time on shore.
  • Longest history of any company operating kayak tours on this route from San Juan County Park to Lime Kiln. Currently one of only three companies offering daily trips to the prime orca whale zone as others have followed in our wake!
  • The best trained biologist/naturalist guides capable of providing both an educational and a safe experience.
  • One Day San Juan Islands Kayaking TripWe provide you with the best and newest kayaks & paddling gear. Unlike other local companies, we only use high-performance fiberglass kayaks on our day tours. We have the best maintained fleet of modern, comfortable and swift kayaks in the San Juan Islands!

Afternoon / 1 Day (6 hour) San Juan Islands Sea Kayaking Tours

Our afternoon / one day sea kayak tours are our most popular trips that don't involve camping overnight. This is certainly due to our success in kayaking with orca whales. The route we use is the best waterway for seeing orcas - killer whales - anywhere in the United States! In May, June and July we see orca whales on over 75% of these tours. Whale watching eventually tapers off into October. That's amazingly great success when you consider two things: these wild animals swim up to 100 miles each day and we have only a few hours to find them. Lot's of other wildlife is encountered on the full day trips, too, including minke whales, Dall's and harbor porpoise, sea lions, harbor seals, and river otters. Three active bald eagle nests and a peregrine falcon nest guarantee observations of magnificent birds. Other fascinating birds of the area are the great blue heron, black oystercatcher, rhinoceros auklet, and pigeon guillemot.

Kayak with Killer Whales on a One Day San Juan Island Kayak Tour

Afternoon / 1-day sea kayaking trips feature fantastic views of Washington's Olympic Mountains and British Columbia's Vancouver Island. As we paddle along the scenic "West Side" of San Juan Island, we enjoy the beauty of storm-sculpted evergreens and rocky balds covered in grasses and wildflowers. Dense kelp forests of sway in the currents and the steep cliff shores are sprinkled with purple seastars and barnacles. Several beaches offer landings for lunch, the same used by smugglers in past eras. The unique human history of the area is revealed by Native American pictograms and relics of turn-of-the-century mining operations. 

One Day Kayaking Trip San Juan Islands

Quick Trip Facts

Scheduled daily - trip fee $89 per person plus state & county taxes.
(except Saturdays in July & August $95)
Meeting Place: San Juan Island. Look for our dark van with kayak trailer next to the Friday Harbor Ferry Terminal in the traffic circle.
Meeting Time:
One day San Juan Island kayak trips begin at 11:30am. Ask about earlier or later departures if these starting times don't work for you! The ferry schedule changes on September 22 and we may revise our starting time on that date onwards.
Itinerary: We will board our courtesy van for a 25 minute drive across the island to our launch beach. The instructional period on the beach may last up to 1 hour, ensuring that everyone is fully prepared for our kayak adventure. We explore with the kayaks for about 3½ to 4 hours, covering 5 to 7 miles during the kayak trip. To stay refreshed we will take several floating rest stops in interesting locations. Mid-way along the route, we journey ashore for a ½ hour lunch break. After returning to the launch beach we board the van for the return trip.
Finish Time & Place: Friday Harbor Ferry Terminal at 5:30pm. This provides plenty of time to catch one of several departing ferries if you are planning to leave the island.The ferry schedule changes on September 22 and we may revise our ending time on that date onwards.
Total Time: Approximately 6 hours from pick up to drop off.

Our San Juan Islands Kayaking Trips are a:

● Top 10 Adventure Bargain in the World by USA Today Travel
● Top 20 American Adventure by the Guardian Observer
● Top 100 Global Adventure by Men's Journal Magazine

Sea Quest Kayak Expeditions Provides:
Sea kayaks, all related sea kayaking trip gear, transportation to and from Friday Harbor and the launch beach, instruction and knowledgeable guiding.

You Will Provide:
Beach clothing, beach footgear, lunch, beverage, hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Click here for some tips on how to prepare for a San Juan Islands kayak tour.

One Day Afternoon San Juan Island Kayak Trip Map: The green shaded area is the primary orca whale watching zone. Our one-day afternoon tour (scheduled every day) explores the west side of San Juan Island and the area of Lime Kiln Whale Watching Park & Lighthouse. This is the heart of the killer whale waters and offers the best chance of an encounter. In the rare event of high winds that create conditions unsafe for kayaking in this open water area, we will use our alternate route in the protected bays to the northwest of San Juan Island. This happens once or twice per month during the summer months.  The east side route is only available for custom kayak tours.

Clicking on the map below opens a full-size map in PDF format that you can save, zoom, or print!

One Day Afternoon San Juan Island Kayak Trips Map

Kayak with Killer Whales on a One Day San Juan Island Kayak Tour