Adventure Travelers Can Discover the San Juan Islands on This 4-Day Sea Kayaking Tour Led by Tumalo Creek’s Expert Guides

Escape to the pristine waters of the San Juan Islands with Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe for a multi-day sea kayaking adventure. Our specially curated 4- and 6-day tours are designed for adventure travelers looking to explore the tranquil beauty of these iconic islands from a unique vantage point—the seat of a touring kayak.

Join us as we guide you through the art of navigation, sea kayaking techniques, efficient boat packing, and wilderness camping skills. All the while, you'll have the opportunity to bond with friends and our knowledgeable Tumalo Creek guides.

You’ll have the chance to paddle from one enchanting San Juan island to another, guided by our expert instructors. In addition to providing on-water support, our guides will prepare all your meals, desserts, and snacks, ensuring you’re well-fed throughout this unforgettable paddling adventure.

We’ll watch for the diverse wildlife that inhabit these waters—orca whales, porpoises, otters, and seals are just a few of the incredible species you may encounter. If conditions align, you may even witness breathtaking sunsets and a mesmerizing bioluminescence display.

Multiple days on the water will allow you to experience the diverse landscapes of rocky cliffs, sandy beaches, and lush island forests, all with the backdrop of Mt. Baker and the Olympic Mountains in the distance. Paddling distances typically range from 6 to 12 miles a day, but if you're up for more, our guides are eager to explore the islands with you, whether by boat or on foot.

This journey is designed for those who have completed our kayaking skills courses and are prepared to test their skills in open water.

☞ Trip Requirements:

We prioritize the comfort and safety of all our guests on the water. Tumalo Creek's policy mandates that all participants in the San Juan Island Sea Kayaking tour complete the Intermediate Skills Kayaking (ISK) class or demonstrate proficiency in the skills listed below that we cover during the ISK class.

All participants must be able to:

• Hold their breath while underwater
• Float independently on their back wearing a properly fitted PFD (personal flotation device/life jacket)
• Turn from a face-down to a face-up position with a properly fitted PFD
• Get in and out of a kayak either independently or with the assistance of a companion
• Maintain a balanced, upright position while seated in a kayak, with adaptations if necessary
• Paddle with adequate technique for traveling up to 10 miles a day
• Independently perform a "wet exit" while wearing a properly fitted skirt
• Re-enter a kayak in open water by executing an assisted re-entry and/or self-rescue

If you cannot attend the Intermediate Skills Kayaking class or have any questions regarding the participation requirements, please feel free to reach out to us. Your safety and enjoyment are our top priorities, and we are here to assist you every step of the way!

Are you curious about what it’s like out there with us?
Check out a Tumalo Creek guest’s San Juan Islands sea kayaking trip report.

Is one of our guided tours right for you?
Tumalo Creek’s sea kayaking tours are designed for those who have completed our Intermediate Kayaking Skills Course and are prepared to test their skills in open water—or you can demonstrate proficiency in skills covered during the course. Questions? Just ask us!

Custom kayaking trips!
For adventure travelers seeking more advanced options, please don’t hesitate to contact Tumalo Creek for additional trip possibilities. Our specialties include longer journeys, increased mileage, and extended time in the islands, and we’d love to hear from you!

Equipment List

Tumalo Creek Provides

  • Transportation from Anacortes to the inner islands
  • Meals and Snacks
  • Kayak
  • Paddle
  • Sprayskirt
  • PFD
  • Immersion Equipment

Participant Provides

  • Personal Layers
  • Lightweight Personal Camping Equipment
  • Six to Eight 5-10L Dry Bags for Personal Gear
  • Personal Insulated Mug
  • Personal Water Bottle
  • Toiletries
  • Headlamp
  • Sun and Bug Protection
  • See trip packet for more details

Gear required for this trip is available for purchase at our shop.

Meeting Location

Washington Park, Anacortes, WA


Tumalo Creek Deposits and Cancellation Policies:

San Juan Islands Tours and Lower Deschutes Whitewater Camps: 50% non-refundable deposit is required upon booking. 60 days prior to departure the remaining balance is due in full. No Shows, cancellations or date changes for any reason inside the 60 day period will be subject to forfeiture of all fees and/or deposits.

Tumalo Creek (TC) Initiated Cancellation Disclaimer: Applies to all one day lessons, trips, tours, multi-day trips, camps and special events. TC reserves the right to cancel, postpone or reschedule one day lessons, trips, tours, multi-day trips, camps and special events within 24 hours of the scheduled date. Circumstances include but are not limited to low enrollment, weather (ex. thunderstorms/lightning), natural disasters (ex. forest fires) and events or circumstances beyond TC’s control.


Congratulations, and thank you for choosing Tumalo Creek's 4-Day San Juan Islands Sea Kayaking Tour. Prepare for a truly exceptional experience in the San Juan Islands, a journey that few individuals have the opportunity to embark on. Your trip is designed to be adventurous with just the right amount of physical challenge, offering open water paddling, delicious meals, great company, and an abundance of natural beauty.

Please keep in mind that we are always available to address any questions you may have about your trip. You can reach us during business hours at 541.317.9407.

4-Day Sample Itinerary:
Please note that this is just a sample itinerary and may not reflect your specific trip. We select our itineraries based on currents, tides, ferry schedules, and other circumstances.

Day 0 - Arrive in Anacortes: Arrival time is flexible and tailored to your personal needs.

Camping: You may choose to camp with us in Washington Park or stay in several local hotels.

Day 1 - Hunter Bay, Lopez Island (Eastern Side of Island) to James Island:
After catching the 9:25 am ferry from Anacortes to Lopez Island, we will travel to Hunter's Bay on the southeastern side of Lopez Island. From there, we will load our kayaks with equipment and prepare for our first paddle of the trip. Departing Lopez Island with a northeastern heading towards James Island, our destination for the first night.

Approximate paddle length: 6 miles.

Day 2 - James Island to Doe Island:
From James Island, we will head north towards Obstruction Island, nestled between Orcas and Blakely Islands. We will stop for lunch and refuel before departing to our final destination, Doe Island, a small island off the eastern coast of Orcas Island. If time permits, we may paddle into Doe Bay and visit the iconic resort.

Approximate paddle length: 11 miles.

Day 3 - Doe Island to Spencer Spit State Park, Lopez Island:
Using Doe Island as a great turnaround point, we will head back towards Obstruction Pass for lunch once again. The Long Pebble shoreline is an inviting place to have lunch, stretch, and explore. After lunch, we set out for a majestic paddle towards Spencer Spit State Park, located on Lopez Island.

Approximate paddle length: 12 miles.

Day 4 - Spencer Spit State Park, Lopez Island Back to Hunter's Bay, Lopez Island:
As a delightful treat, we will paddle the glassy waters of Lopez Sound as we head south back to Hunter's Bay. Frequently, we encounter wildlife swimming with us, huge crabs underneath the surface, and clear waters that create a magical experience. A bittersweet end to a wonderful journey. After arriving at Hunter's Bay, we prepare for an afternoon ferry that takes us back to Anacortes, where we share our favorite memories and bid our farewells.

Approximate paddle length: 5 miles.

Gear List:

TC - Provided by Tumalo Creek

On Water:

Boat - TC
Paddle - TC
Sprayskirt - TC
PFD; Whistle - TC
Paddle Float - TC
Sponge - TC
Bilge pump - TC
Paddle shoe; booties, mukluks - TC can provide
Sunglasses w/retainer strap
Sunscreen & Lip Balm SPF 30
Sun hat, rain hat, and/or fleece hat
Synthetic top and bottom
Paddling top
Paddling pant
Dry suit - TC can provide
Nylon shorts and/or swimsuit
32oz Water bottle (2)

Lightweight Backpack Style Sleeping bag
Lightweight Backpack Style Sleeping Pad
Lightweight Compact Tent
Camp shorts (1 pair)
Camp pants (1 pair)
2 camp shirts - Guest
Fleece pants and jacket (wool or down OK)
Towel (small)
Toiletry kit
Insulated coffee/tea mug w/lid
Insect repellent
Headlamp or Flashlight w/spare batteries
Camp shoes and socks
Small dry bags for personal gear (six to eight 5-10L Dry Bags)
Ground Tarp - Guest
Optional Gear:

Paddling gloves - TC can provide
Small lightweight Pillow
Small personal repair kit
Personal first aid kit (group first aid kit provided)
Waterproof Camera
Musical Instrument (Check with TCKC Staff)
Charts & maps w/chart case
Journal and pen
Fishing gear/ fishing license
Lightweight/compact folding chair
Dice/Playing Cards
Bath towel & Clean Clothes for end of trip
Tumalo Creek offers a full selection of paddling equipment and accessories, and we'd be delighted to help you get outfitted for your trip. Please remember to keep your personal gear to a minimum while always considering your personal comfort.

Our trips are BYOB, so if you'd like to bring your own, please feel free to do so. Tumalo Creek can assist with storage and transportation. Please avoid bringing glass containers.

Have you taken our Intermediate Skills Kayak Class (ISK) yet? This is a great primer (and requirement) for our San Juan's trips. In our ISK classes, we teach essential paddling techniques, efficient boat packing, and invaluable safety skills.

And as a reminder, don't forget to get some training days in! Being in paddle shape comes from paddling, so make the most of the excellent paddle opportunities in Central Oregon to enhance your experience.


What should I wear out on the River?

We recommend wearing clothes and shoes that you are ok getting wet. Moisture wicking fabrics are best as they dry quickly. Avoid cotton clothing as it takes a long time to dry and can keep you cold.

Do you provide life jackets?

We do provide life jackets at no additional cost for all of our rentals, tours and classes. We have a variety of sizes to fit many body types.

Are there rapids?

Unless a trip is a whitewater specific trip you will not have to go through any rapids.

Do you provide lunch?

We do provide a sack lunch for all of our full day tours. You can choose your sandwich preference at the same time you make your reservation, vegetarian options are available.

Are dogs allowed on tours?

Unfortunately dogs are not allowed on any of our tours or classes.

Can we do a custom trip?

We can do custom trips and tours. These can be contingent upon availability of our guides and vehicles. Please email [email protected] for more information and pricing.