Best Sea Kayaking in Washington

This list represents the most popular sea kayaking in Washington. Use this list to plan your next Washington sea kayaking trip. Select a state and/or activity below to find even more top trails.

Learn more about Top Trails

#1. Commencement Bay


Here you will find a pleasant contrast to expectations of a polluted industrial wasteland. Commencement Bay has a bit of everything. There are the wooded bluffs of Point Defiance, the “downtown” fee…
From the guidebook "Kayaking Puget Sound, the San Juans, & Gulf Islands"
Puyallup River, WA - Sea Kayaking - 6 miles BestSea Kayaking Trail - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#2. Point Doughty on Orcas Island


Accessible only from the water, this little DNR Recreation Site at Orcas Island’s northwest tip has attractive madrona and fir woods, tide pools, and spectacular cliffs complete with a small sea cave…
From the guidebook "Kayaking Puget Sound, the San Juans, & Gulf Islands"
Eastsound, WA - Sea Kayaking - 6 miles BestSea Kayaking Trail - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#3. Carr Inlet: Horsehead Bay, Cutts Island State Park, and Kopachuck State Park


If you live south of Seattle, this is a short, easy trip, ideal for those with limited saltwater experience, or for families. Distances between stopovers are not long, and there are plenty of shore at…
From the guidebook "Kayaking Puget Sound, the San Juans, & Gulf Islands"
Rosedale, WA - Sea Kayaking - 4 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#4. Elliott Bay


Shipyards with naval frigates or an Alaska ferry in dry dock create an engaging scene, one that is in constant motion and change. There are also routes deep under the waterfront’s piers and the opport…
From the guidebook "Kayaking Puget Sound, the San Juans, & Gulf Islands"
Seattle, WA - Sea Kayaking - 4 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#5. Patos, Sucia, and Matia Islands


This chain of state park and wildlife refuge islands is famed for its intricate geology as well as its potentially treacherous waters. Separated by miles of sea from other islands in the San Juan grou…
From the guidebook "Kayaking Puget Sound, the San Juans, & Gulf Islands"
Eastsound, WA - Sea Kayaking - 2.5 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#6. Dungeness Spit


This 5-mile-long spit is a National Wildlife Refuge set aside for waterfowl and shorebirds. As many as 10,000 birds winter in the refuge, particularly the black brant. Sandpipers and other shorebirds…
From the guidebook "Kayaking Puget Sound, the San Juans, & Gulf Islands"
Dungeness, WA - Sea Kayaking - 5 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#7. Hope and Skagit Islands


Though currents are swift in this area, the protection of nearby Fidalgo and Whidbey islands makes Hope and Skagit reasonable destinations when other places are a bit on the rough side. Ashore on thes…
From the guidebook "Kayaking Puget Sound, the San Juans, & Gulf Islands"
Oak Harbor, WA - Sea Kayaking - 5 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#8. Central Hood Canal: Quilcene and Dabob Bays, Dosewallips, Pleasant Harbor, Triton Cove, and Mike’s Beach Resort


With the Olympic Mountain Range towering overhead, this part of Hood Canal is the meeting place of land and sea. When you can take your eyes off this gorgeous backdrop, there is plenty to look at up c…
From the guidebook "Kayaking Puget Sound, the San Juans, & Gulf Islands"
Brinnon, WA - Sea Kayaking - 16 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#9. Burrows Island


The paddling at Burrows Island is interesting and exhilarating with both sheer rock and lively currents. Ashore you will find an abandoned US Coast Guard light station perched on a cliff on the west s…
From the guidebook "Kayaking Puget Sound, the San Juans, & Gulf Islands"
Anacortes, WA - Sea Kayaking - 6 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#10. Bachelor Island


A favourite day paddle is the 16-km (10-mi.) circumnavigation of Bachelor Island in Washington State, part of Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. Other options entice from across the river, including…
From the guidebook "Kayak Routes of the Pacific Northwest Coast"
Ridgefield, WA - Sea Kayaking
Published by Greystone Books

#11. Port Madison and Agate Passage


The northern shores of Bainbridge Island and the adjacent Kitsap Peninsula make an easy escape for locals and city dwellers alike. Though the area’s shores are primarily residential with an emphasis…
From the guidebook "Kayaking Puget Sound, the San Juans, & Gulf Islands"
Suquamish, WA - Sea Kayaking - 7 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#12. West Point, Shilshole Bay, and Golden Gardens


This area, west of Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, is a good place for both cautious sea outings for new paddlers during calm weather and lengthier and more challenging routes for experienced paddlers…
From the guidebook "Kayaking Puget Sound, the San Juans, & Gulf Islands"
Rollingbay, WA - Sea Kayaking - 8 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#13. Port Townsend to Point Wilson


Explorer Captain George Vancouver noted that the current location of Port Townsend, located on the northern tip of Quimper Peninsula, had a “fine deep harbor.” Like many towns in the Puget Sound area,…
From the guidebook "Kayaking Puget Sound, the San Juans, & Gulf Islands"
Port Townsend, WA - Sea Kayaking - 8 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#14. Eld Inlet


This is a pleasurable place to paddle with no real destination, or to explore the little mid-inlet coves and southern tidal estuaries. Only one boat ramp, a driveway through the yard of a private ho…
From the guidebook "Kayaking Puget Sound, the San Juans, & Gulf Islands"
Boston Harbor, WA - Sea Kayaking - 8.5 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#15. Tacoma Narrows


Famous for the 1940s film of the collapsing Tacoma Narrows bridge, also called “Galloping Gertie,” the Narrows is known for its tidal bottleneck effect. With Puget Sound squeezing through its mile-wid…
From the guidebook "Kayaking Puget Sound, the San Juans, & Gulf Islands"
Gig Harbor, WA - Sea Kayaking - 10.4 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#16. Mats Mats Bay


This quiet little bay north of Port Ludlow is just right for paddling practice or touring anchored yachts. The bay has a pastoral feel to it, with residences generally low key and set back from the sh…
From the guidebook "Kayaking Puget Sound, the San Juans, & Gulf Islands"
Port Ludlow, WA - Sea Kayaking - 2 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#17. Lopez Island: Mackaye Harbor


With an annual rainfall of 22 inches, Lopez Island is located in the banana belt of Washington. Mackaye Harbor on the island’s southwest side has an arid landscape in summer with golden meadows, warm…
From the guidebook "Kayaking Puget Sound, the San Juans, & Gulf Islands"
Lopez Island, WA - Sea Kayaking - 5 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#18. Deception Pass


Deception Pass offers outstanding beauty that can be explored safely on the fringes of the high-current area in the pass itself. You can also paddle through the pass when currents are weakest if a nov…
From the guidebook "Kayaking Puget Sound, the San Juans, & Gulf Islands"
Oak Harbor, WA - Sea Kayaking - 6 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#19. Lake Union


The origins of Lake Union go back 12,000 years. The lake was carved by the Vashon glacier, which also created Lake Washington. The Duwamish people called it “small lake.” In 1854, pioneer Thomas Merce…
From the guidebook "Kayaking Puget Sound, the San Juans, & Gulf Islands"
Seattle, WA - Sea Kayaking - 4.5 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#20. Henderson Inlet: Woodward Bay Natural Resources Conservation Area


Henderson Inlet offers a serene place to paddle, especially when compared to other, more trafficked inlets of south Puget Sound. This is partly due to the absence of public beaches or boat ramps excep…
From the guidebook "Kayaking Puget Sound, the San Juans, & Gulf Islands"
Longbranch, WA - Sea Kayaking - 2.5 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books