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


Three Day San Juan Islands Kayak Trips: Orca Whale Watching Tours - Seattle Washington

Why choose Sea Quest for your Three Day Kayak Trip in the San Juan Islands?

  • Lowest priced kayak tours to the prime killer whale zone where most whale sightings occur.
  • Kayak the beautiful sea cliffs & lighthouses of the western San Juan Islands closest to Canada.
  • Best route for kayaking with orca whales in the US with 85+ resident killer whales.
  • Camping on smaller, isolated islands with abundant harbor seals, river otters & bald eagles.
  • We have led kayak tours in the San Juan Islands since 1989 and have a perfect safety record, the best trained guides, and the newest kayaks & paddling equipment.

Three Day San Juan Islands Kayaking Tours

If you like savoring the full cycle of sunrise to sunset in a single day, camp on small islands, and relax to starry skies and meteorite showers, you'll enjoy our three-day kayaking tour in the San Juan Islands. Excellent weather, abundant whales and wildlife, and hundreds of islands conspire to make this the ultimate sea kayaking trip and camping adventure, especially for first-timers.

This tour is similar to our two-day San Juan Islands kayak trip, but having an extra day sandwiched in the middle of the itinerary imparts a much more relaxed feel to the experience. It may not seem significant, but we notice our guests really unwind on that middle day, beginning with the dawn chorus of songbirds and ending with the hooting of owls at bedtime. For one day at least, you won’t have to think about planes, ferries, and automobiles. The three-day kayak trip is our most popular camping tour in the San Juans.Kayak with Killer Whales on a Three Day San Juan Island Kayaking Tour

Scenery, wildlife, and orca whale watching is suberb on this trip, like all of our camping adventures in the San Juan Islands. Each extra day spent in nature improves your chances of seeing killer whales, perhaps multiple times, or seeing some of the rarer inhabitants. Orca whales have been seen on as many as 80% of these tours in July in some years. Read our two-day kayak trip description to learn more about features common to all of our camping tours. This kayak trip is also available as a Women's-Only Kayaking Vacation.

Quick Trip Facts
Scheduled Tuesday-Thursday & Friday-Sunday with some exceptions for holiday weekends - trip fee $569 plus $8 county launch tax.
Meeting Time & Place: 9:00am on San Juan Island. Look for our dark van with kayak trailer next to the Friday Harbor Ferry Terminal in the traffic circle.
Day 1 Itinerary: Prepare and load the kayaks at the beach. A one hour kayaking lesson follows, ensuring that everyone is ready to launch. Your guide will continually refine your skills throughout the kayak adventure. We begin by kayaking straight into the primary orca whale watching zone and will be alert for dorsal fins. Paddling northward from San Juan Island, we investigate plentiful islets, rocks, and reefs with abundant wildlife. Kayaking time varies from 4 to 6 hours, traveling 7 to 12 miles per day determined by sea conditions and group desire. Frequent floating rest breaks, and one or two shore visits keep us recharged. Weather and currents permitting, we spend the night at a gorgeous marine park on one of the outer islands.
Day 2 Itinerary:
Sunrise, then a carefree day of exploration in our sea kayaks. Again we'll travel through important killer whale and porpoise habitat. There are many beautiful sights along the way, including views of three mountain ranges: the Olympics, North Cascades, and Coast Range. Options include circumnavigating Stuart or Johns islands if the currents and winds permit it, or taking it a bit easier by paddling to nearby beaches and waiting for passing killer whales. We often hike 5½ miles round trip to a picturesque lighthouse perched high on a sea cliff overlooking the Gulf Islands of British Columbia. Our clifftop vantage is perfect for spotting whales and porpoises or watching the sun set. As the sun approaches the horizon, it paints the glassy waters in outrageous colors and highlights the dorsal fins of porpoises and whales as they hunt their evening meals.
Day 3 Itinerary:
After the final sunrise of the trip we strike out towards San Juan Island. While weaving through the outer islands, many included in the San Juan Islands National Wildlife Refuge, we hold to the killer whales favorite corridors. Back on San Juan Island the courtesy van retrieves us to town.
Finish Time & Place: Friday Harbor Ferry Terminal between 2:00 and 4:00pm. Several ferry departures will be available to return you to the mainland if that is your plan.

Our Three Day San Juan Islands Kayak Trips were honored as 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 tour gear, safety & communication gear, tents, cooking equipment, breakfasts & dinners, courtesy transport to and from Friday Harbor and the launch beach, kayak lessons and expert guides.

You Will Provide:
Outdoor apparel, beach footwear, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, lunches, sleeping bag & pad. Click here for some tips on how to prepare for a San Juan Islands kayak tour.

Three Day San Juan Islands Kayak Trips Map: The orca whale's domain is shown in green - this is where killer whales hunt the most. We will kayaik in the primary whale watching zone for about half the time and the remainder will be spent in areas where encounters are possible but less likely. A traditional hike to a clifftop lighthouse on Stuart Island provides yet another chance to whale watch in the prime killer whale waters. Be aware that excessive winds or currents can rarely cause us to break from our normal route and these contingent tracks are also depicted.

Click the map and it will open into a full-size map in PDF format that you can zoom, save, or print!

Three Day San Juan Islands Kayaking Trips Map

Kayak with Orca Whales on a Three Day San Juan Island Kayak Trips