Book Your Tour!
Our Half Day Kayak Tour is one of our most popular San Juan Island Kayak Tour options to the best whale watching destination in the United States. We offer more departure times and kayak tours to the west side of San Juan Island than any company on San Juan Island.
Daily Departures April – September at 8 AM, 1130 AM and 130 PM)
The most common question everyone has, when is the best time to see whales? Encountering killer whales is amazing and encounters can happen any of the months we operate. On average the best months for orca encounters are June, July, and August. The early season (April and May) and the late season (September and October) are great months for kayaking and orca encounters are still possible.
We do not see whales on every kayak tour, even during the high season. Our talented group of staff members are well rounded and provide an in-depth kayak tour covering information from the islands history, shoreline ecology, and wildlife. Traveling in a small group you have plenty of time to ask questions and learn about the region from your kayak guide.
Complete and full disclosure. We launch the majority of our kayak tours from San Juan County Park. We are not alone at this location, most of the companies that advertise kayak tours on San Juan Island depart from the same destination. When it comes to seeing whales its an equal playing field, we all see whales about the same amount of time each year. No one company has special information that another company does not.
So what’s the difference in the companies?
We set ourselves apart by offering the smallest group sizes on San Juan Island. Focusing on personalizing your kayak tour experience and reducing our impact as we explore the shoreline. Our staff are educated naturalists that provide excellent information about all of the region’s wildlife and history. We train every season extensively to hone our kayak and leadership skills.
Professionalism from start to finish.
We strongly believe in honesty and integrity above all. When you contact us we will always provide you with the most accurate and best information possible about the current kayak conditions and wildlife sightings.
This tour was absolutely amazing! One of the best things I’ve done!! We did the half day tour, with Chad as our tour guide. He was SO awesome! He answered any questions we had, he was entertaining, very inviting. We saw SO many Orcas, seals, jellyfish…. You name it, we saw it! I highly recommend this tour for everyone.
KAYAK ROUTE AND ITINERARY
Our route travels within the heart of orca whale habitat and prime whale watching on San Juan Island. We paddle in the past the iconic Lime Kiln Lighthouse.
- Check-in: 15 minutes before reserved departure time at our shop, 260 Spring St.
- Shop Departures: 8:00 AM, 11:30 AM and 1:30 PM
- 20-minute shuttle ride to San Juan County Park
- Kayak instruction, Restroom Break, Launch Kayaks
- Arrival Back in Friday Harbor: 12:00 PM, 3:30 PM and 5:30 PM
Trips can be delayed with orca encounters. Due to regulations put in place to protect our local orca whales our movements can be restricted when whales are in the area. So there are times we arrive back in town a bit late. We will always do our best to get everyone back in a timely manner.
Tour Duration: Door to Door 4 Hours
Kayak Mileage: 4 – 6 Miles
Activity Level: Average (No Experience Required)
Age Requirement: Minimum Age 12 Years Old
Weight Limit: 250 Pounds (please call if you have concerns)
San Juan Island is home to a wide variety of wildlife.
- Southern Resident Killer Whales: Salmon eating whales commonly seen June through mid-October.
- Transient Killer Whales: Marine mammal-eating whales that can be seen throughout the year.
- Humpback Whales: Becoming more common to the area as they migrate between winter and summer habitats.
- Minke Whales: A small baleen whale that we frequently see throughout the season.
- Porpoise: Harbor and Dalls porpoise are encounter year round.
- Harbor Seals: The most common marine mammal we have in the area. Seen any time of year around the islands.
- Sea Lions: Stellar Sea Lions are seen most commonly during the early and late kayak season along with a few sightings of California Sea Lions.
- River Otters: More elusive but seen any time of year. Most sightings are early morning or late afternoon.
- Bald Eagles: San Juan host a health population of Bald Eagles with many nesting sites.
Every day is different and we can encounter other species of whales, seals, porpoise and birds not listed above.
Tours are limited to 8 guests, the smallest groups size on the island. This provides unlimited access to the guide for answering questions and taking care of any instructional needs while on the water. Smaller groups allow us to get on the water quicker, spending less time at the beach handing out equipment, as compared to large groups commonly seen on San Juan Island. We also have far less impact on beaches and shoreline habitat we visit. From safety to your overall experience, small groups are the best way to travel.
Professional Sea Kayak Guide instruction and naturalist education. Fiberglass two person kayaks, selected for their comfort and stability. From novice paddlers with no experience to seasoned veteran paddlers, tandem kayaks offer the perfect platform for kayak touring San Juan Island.
All guest are provided with a complementary dry bag for the kayak tour. We also provide Waterproof Jackets and Pants at no extra cost.
Early Season: Spring weather on San Juan is typically cool with day time temperatures ranging from the low 50’s F to the mid 60’s F. Expect partly cloudy skies with light breezes to windy conditions. Chance of precipitation is greater in the Spring season but rain is usually light. Weather conditions can change rapidly and we keep all reserved guests up to date on the latest forecast.
Summer Season: San Juan Island can have some of the most pleasant summer weather. With half the annual rainfall of the Seattle area, San Juan is typically dry all summer. Temperatures range from upper 60’s F to the mid 80’s F. Skies are usually blue and clear, great for evening star gazing. Winds are more predictable during the summer, light most days with calm seas. There are occasional offshore systems that push strong winds trough the islands.
Late Season: Fall can be one of the best times to visit San Juan. The days become cooler, ranging from the low 50’s F to the mid 60’s F. Winds can be light to moderate depending on the current weather systems. Early fall is typically dry with light rain developing around late October. This is one of our favorite times of the year.
- Water Shoes (Limited sizes available for rent)
- Water Bottle
- Non-Cotton Clothing
- Short and Long Sleeve Top
- Quick Dry Pants
- Hat and Sunglasses
- Beanie (Spring and Fall Season)
- Paddling Gloves
- Camera with fitted waterproof case (available for sale at our shop)
- Seat Cushion
Partner Discounts (Only one discount applies to a reservation)
- If you have a reservation with Western Prince Whale Watching save 10% | Promo Code WESTERN10
- If you have a reservation with Zip San Juan save 10% | Promo Code ZIP10
Please present reservation confirmation for Western Prince and Zip San Juan at check-in for discounts.