Why choose Sea Quest for your
Five Day Kayak Expedition
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 rugged San Juan Islands nearest Canada.
- Best route for kayaking with killer whales in the US with 80+ resident orcas May-October.
- Camp on small islands with abundant bald eagles, river otters & harbor seals. Routes feature a National Wildlife Refuge, National Monument, State & County Parks, and maybe a National Historical Park
- Sea Quest has been leading kayak expeditions in the San Juan Islands since 1989 without an incident thanks to extensively trained guides and the newest kayaks & safety gear.
Five Day San Juan Islands Kayak Tours
This the perfect sea kayaking adventure for those who really want to immerse themselves in the rhythms of the Salish Sea. Our five day expedition through the San Juan Islands is guaranteed to cleanse away the stress of modern life. This kayak trip is ideal for perfecting your stroke, improving navigation skills, studying natural history, and reading a novel. Many guests choose the 5 day kayak tour as a means of preparing themselves for an extended kayaking adventure on their own, or the purchase of their own sea kayak.
Like all of our camping adventures in the San Juan Islands of Washington, killer whale watching is excellent on this kayak trip. As most students of nature understand, the longer you linger in proper habitat, the more likely it becomes to see the full range of wildlife that an area supports. We believe the five-day expedition offers you the best chances of kayaking with orca whales or seeing them on multiple days. Killer whales have been spotted on 60% of these trips in May, 80% in June and July, 80% in August, 55% in September, and 30% in October. This kayak tour also has the best opportunities to spot some of the less conspicuous denizens such as minke whales and mink. Read about our two-day and three-day San Juan Island kayak trip details to discover features shared by all of our camping adventures. This kayak expedition is also available as a Women's-Only Kayaking Vacation.
Trip Details for the Three-Day San Juan Island Kayak Tour
- Schedule: Monday-Friday.
- Trip Fee: $869 plus $8 county launch tax.
- Meeting Time & Place: 9:00am Friday Harbor, San Juan Island. Look for the Sea Quest van and kayak trailer in the traffic circle adjacent to the Friday Harbor Ferry Terminal.
- Day 1 Itinerary: The van delivers us to a beach facing the main orca whale watching corridor. After packing the kayaks, we engage in an hour-long kayaking tutorial and safety briefing, and your guide will help improve your paddling skills right through the kayak expedition. Kayaking time fluctuates from 4 to 6 hours each day, resulting in daily distances of 8 to 12 miles. Many floating rest breaks, and one to three daily shore visits keep us invigorated. We explore the countless isles and reefs that make up the archipelago and camp at a variety of beautiful marine parks.
- Days 2, 3, 4 Itinerary: After enjoying the sunrise and the dawn bird chorus, we meet to discuss our kayaking route for the day. A weather/current check and guest input is crucial for making our daily decision. Our route is very flexible and may involve a partial circumnavigation of San Juan Island or an exploration of the northwest portion of the archipelago. Most days will find us kayaking a good chunk of time in the primary killer whale watching waters and the remainder in areas where orcas are seen several times monthly. Stunning views of the Mount Baker volcano, the Cascade Range, and Olympic Mountains always surround us. A favorite event of most five day kayak tours is a 5½ mile round trip hike to the Turn Point lighthouse atop a magnificent sea cliff used by nesting peregrine falcons. This beautiful vantage point, like several others we may visit, are famous for sun sets and sightings of orca whales and porpoises. Evenings may involve a hike, or short paddle forays to enjoy the sunset or displays of bioluminescence on moonless nights.
- Day 5 Itinerary: Following our the last sunrise of the expedition, we set our course for the landing beach on San Juan Island. The return trip offers main fine views and wildlife sightings and we always hope to have a grand finale with the killer whales! In the end, our van returns us to Friday Harbor.
- Finish Time & Place: Friday Harbor Ferry Terminal between 2:00 and 4:00pm. If you wish to take a ferry to the mainland, you will several sailings to choose from.
Our Five Day San Juan Islands Kayak Expeditions were selected 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 sea kayaking equipment and safety gear, radio and emergency signals, tarps & tents, galley, freshly prepared breakfasts & dinners, van transport to and from and our launch beach and Friday Harbor, kayak instruction and superb guides.
You Will Provide:
Outdoor clothing, footwear for wading and hiking, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, sleeping bag & pad, and lunches. Click prepare for a San Juan Islands kayak expedition to learn more.
Five Day San Juan Islands Kayaking Tours Map: The red lines show our frequently used paths but should not be interpreted as the strict route you will explore.Green shading depicts the main orca whale feeding and traveling route where most encounters happen. We navigate through the primary killer whale waters on about half of the five-day kayaking tour. The remainder of the expedition will be in the secondary orca whale habitat where sightings happen at least several times monthy. High winds generated by solar heating or out-of-season weather systems may occur and could prevent or limit our time kayaking in the green killer whale watching zone. Even on these infrequent days we may experience successful whale watching from land or safer kayaking areas.
Click the chart to open a full-size version in PDF format that you can zoom and print!
Kayak with Killer Whales on a Five Day San Juan Island Kayak Expeditions