Outer San Juan Islands

Anacortes, Washington

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The northwestern edge of the San Juans offers paddlers an incredible array of wildlife and scenery. Miles of rugged, undeveloped shorelines along Haro Strait provide habitat for a multitude of marine birds and mammals, including orca whales. Although this is a great environment for marine life, it is not one to be taken lightly by the paddler. The outer San Juans are for experienced paddlers who are capable of reading tide tables and current guides and are able to respond to the variable weather and water conditions likely to be encountered. Currents in Spieden and President Channels can be treacherous, at times exceeding 4 knots, and should be factored into your trip planning. Native Americans plied the waters of Puget Sound long before the arrival of white explorers. They knew the sound as Whulge, which loosely translates as “big salt water.” Several tribes inhabited this coast, living on the abundant marine life and using the towering stands of forests to build villages and dugout canoes. Although boats of all kinds now travel these waters, paddling Puget Sound continues to be the best way to explore its beautiful shorelines. The slow, silent pace of a kayak will allow you to absorb the spectacular vistas of Mount Rainier, cabin-dotted islands and wildlife at play.
Kayak Routes of the Pacific Northwest Coast

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Kayak Routes of the Pacific Northwest Coast

by Peter McGee (Greystone Books)

The northwestern edge of the San Juans offers paddlers an incredible array of wildlife and scenery. Miles of rugged, undeveloped shorelines along Haro Strait provide habitat for a multitude of marine birds and mammals, including orca whales. Although this is a great environment for marine life, it is not one to be taken lightly by the paddler. The outer San Juans are for experienced paddlers who are capable of reading tide tables and current guides and are able to respond to the variable weather and water conditions likely to be encountered. Currents in Spieden and President Channels can be treacherous, at times exceeding 4 knots, and should be factored into your trip planning.

Native Americans plied the waters of Puget Sound long before the arrival of white explorers. They knew the sound as Whulge, which loosely translates as “big salt water.” Several tribes inhabited this coast, living on the abundant marine life and using the towering stands of forests to build villages and dugout canoes. Although boats of all kinds now travel these waters, paddling Puget Sound continues to be the best way to explore its beautiful shorelines. The slow, silent pace of a kayak will allow you to absorb the spectacular vistas of Mount Rainier, cabin-dotted islands and wildlife at play.

©  Peter McGee/Greystone Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Sea Kayaking
Nearby City: Anacortes
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 3 - 5 days
Season: Best spring through fall
Local Maps: 18421: Strait of Juan de Fuca to Strait of Georgia; 18423: Bellingham to Everett and San Juan Isles; and 18431, 18432, 18433, and 18434
Driving Directions: Directions to Outer San Juan Islands

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Apr 2018