San Juan Island Full Day Kayak Tour

National Geo Award San Juan Kayak Tour

Spend the day with Discovery paddling San Juan’s popular wildlife corridor. On this San Juan Island Full Kayak Tour, you will have the opportunity to soak up island 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 exclusively on the West Side of San Juan Island from San Juan County Park. This route offers the most scenic kayak adventure along with the best wildlife viewing. Explore the rugged shoreline and flowing kelp beds while enjoying distant views of Vancouver Island and the Olympic Mountains.

Current Discounts: Groups for 4 or more qualify for a discounted rate. Text us for a promo code.

We Provide

  • Kayaking Instruction and Professional Guide
  • Waterproof Pants and Jackets
  • Kayaking Equipment
  • Dry Bag
  • Transportation to and from launch location

You Provide

  • Water Bottle
  • Lunch
  • Sunglasses and Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Extra Layers
  • Sandals or Water Shoes that can get wet
  • Gratuity for Guides (greatly appreciated)
Style:Active Adventure | Wildlife Encounters
Location:West Side San Juan Kayaking Tour Route
Duration:6 Hours
Our Shop
Activity:Beginner Level
Restriction:12 Years Min / 250 Pounds Max

Tour Dates

Daily April - September
Small Groups - Smallest on the Island
Great Equipment - Fiberglass Kayaks
Highly Trained Sea Kayak Guides

San Juan Island Full Day Kayak Tour 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!

Kimberly (TripAdvisor)

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

Tour Preparation
San Juan Island
Whale Guidelines

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.