Spend the day paddling San Juan’s most popular wildlife corridor. On this tour, you will have the opportunity to soak up the island’s scenery both from the seat of a kayak and from a beautiful pebble beach. After a mid-morning paddle, we will land for lunch and the opportunity for a short hike. By spending more time out on the water and in scenic wildlife corridors, paddlers will be maximizing their wildlife-viewing opportunities and getting the most out of their day of paddling.
Our small groups and limited daily launches help preserve the beaches we access along the way and guarantee a personalized kayaking experience for everyone.
We operate the Full Day Kayak Tour in two locations on San Juan Island. We select the best route for each tour by monitoring the weather conditions and the latest wildlife information. The areas we utilize for our Full Day Kayak Tour routes are on the west side and east side of San Juan Island. Both routes offer stunning views, excellent wildlife encounters, and the potential to see whales.
Find more information about our kayak touring routes below.
Current Discounts: Reserve a Full Day Kayak Tour with 4 or more guests and receive 15% off with promo code group15
Click photos to view our Full Day San Juan Island Kayak Tours gallery.
Full Day San Juan Island Kayak Tours Testimonial
We had an amazing morning trip with Discovery Sea Kayaks. The gear was high quality and in great condition. The guide was knowledgeable, professional, and very personable. As someone who has sea kayaked many times before, I was very impressed with this outfitter. I strongly recommend this company to first-timers or experienced paddlers!
Route & Itinerary
The Full Day Kayak Tour routes are set to maximize the opportunity to encounter a diverse range of wildlife. Both the west side and east side tours have the potential for whale encounters. Note we do not encounter whales every day, but our routes offer the best potential on San Juan Island.
The West Side Route
We operate the majority of our kayak tours on the west side of San Juan Island. This route has a lot of history when it comes to whale encounters. Over the many years we have been leading kayak tours, the west side has been one of the best locations to encounter wildlife and more specifically, Southern Resident Killer Whales. The past few seasons Southern Resident Killer whales have been traveling further searching for food and at times are not present along the west side of San Juan Island. Along the route, we will pass the iconic Lime Kiln Lighthouse and get expansive views of the Olympic and Cascade Mountain Ranges.
The East Side Route
The east side of San Juan Island is scattered with offshore rock piles that attract numerous harbor seals. With a large number of seals along the east side, Bigg’s Killer Whale sightings are becoming more common. Along this route, we will explore the shoreline of small islands with curious eagles keeping watch and near the water’s edge look for bright purple sea stars. In the distance enjoy views of Mount Baker and the Cascade Mountain Range.
Please note this itinerary is a rough outline of the day’s travel. We can encounter delays that will affect our departure and arrival time back at the shop.
Check-in: 10:45 AM at our shop, 260 Spring St. Friday Harbor, Wa.
Departure: 11:00 AM
At the Beach: Organize and carry kayaks. Safety Orientation.
On the Water: Explore for roughly 2 to 3 miles then stop for lunch.
Back on the Water: After lunch, we continue our exploration until we arrive back to launch beach.
Back at the Beach: Organize and reload kayaks.
Head for Town: We plan for arrival back at our office around 5:00 PM
Trips may experience delays due to orca encounters. Because of regulations in place to protect our local orca whales our movements can be restricted when whales are in the area. Please keep in mind this can affect our return time back to town. We will always do our best to get everyone back in a timely manner.
Wildlife & Weather
San Juan Island is home to a wide variety of amazing wildlife:
Southern Resident Killer Whales: Salmon eating whales commonly seen June through mid-October.
Transient Killer Whales: Marine mammal-eating whales may be seen throughout the year.
Baleen Whales: Humpback Whales and Minke Whales.
Porpoise: Harbor and Dalls porpoise are encounter year round.
Seals and Sea Lions: Harbor Seals, California Sea Lions, and Stellar Sea Lions
River Otters: More elusive but seen any time of year. Most sightings are early morning or late afternoon.
Bald Eagles: San Juan Island hosts a healthy 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.
Early Season: Spring weather on San Juan is typically cool with daytime temperatures ranging from the low 50’s F to the mid 60’s F. Expect partly cloudy skies with light breezes to windy conditions.
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.
Late Season: Fall can be one of the best times to visit San Juan Island. 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.
More Tour Related Info
San Juan Island
Sea Kayaking Tours of the San Juan Islands
The San Juan Islands are a small chain of islands in the Salish Sea. The area is a world renowned kayak tour destination in Washington State.
Take a sneak peak at what your next adventure could look like! Watch our video to find out more about what sets us a step above the rest when it comes to providing quality sea kayak tours in the San Juan Islands.