San Juan Sea Kayaking



Lowest priced kayak tours to the prime killer whale zone where most whale sightings occur.

Kayak the beautiful sea cliffs & lighthouses of the rugged San Juan Islands nearest Canada.

Best route for kayaking with killer whales in the US with 470+ orcas May-October.

Camp on small islands with abundant bald eagles, river otters & harbor seals. Routes feature a National Wildlife Refuge, National Monument, State & County Parks, and maybe a National Historical Park.

Perfect safety record since 1989 on all San Juan kayak expeditions. Newest kayaks and best trained guides.

Ready to Start Your Adventure?

Five-Day San Juan Islands Sea Kayaking Tours

This the perfect sea kayaking adventure for those who really want to immerse themselves in the rhythms of the Salish Sea. Our five-day expedition through the San Juan Islands is guaranteed to cleanse away the stress of modern life. This kayak trip is ideal for perfecting your stroke, improving navigation skills, studying natural history, and reading a novel. Many guests choose the 5-day kayak tour as a means of preparing themselves for an extended kayaking adventure on their own, or the purchase of their own sea kayak.

Like all of our camping adventures in the San Juan Islands of Washington, killer whale watching is a possibility on this kayak trip. As most students of nature understand, the longer you linger in proper habitat, the more likely it becomes to see the full range of wildlife that an area supports. We believe the five-day expedition offers you the best chances of kayaking with orca whales or seeing them on multiple days. In the years 2005-2018, killer whales were spotted on 50% of our trips in May, 70% in June and July, 65% in August and September, and 40% in October.

We produced the best whale watching results of any kayak tour company by far in those years despite the fact that our friendliest pods were listed as endangered beginning in 2005. Prior to this was an era of abundant salmon prey and our sightings were even more spectacular! Sadly, salmon orcas have been experiencing leaner years recently with fewer migrating salmon through the San Juan Islands. The years 2013, 2019, and 2020 were so bad they shocked people into finally recognizing the plight of our salmon orcas and begin projects designed to reverse the decline of chinook.

Despite our great successes in the past, the future of orca whale watching is unpredictable, and we could lose our genetically unique population of salmon orcas in the next 20 years. Fortunately, there is another species of killer whale that is actually increasing in our region. Bigg’s killer whales depend on seals and sea lions and now number over 400 individuals. But they are more elusive and erratic than salmon orcas and despite their larger numbers they can be difficult to find. Our decades of experience as local biologists and kayak guides will give you the best chance for seeing either species of killer whale and we still remain the best place in US for orca whale watching. Please read more on this topic in our Whale Watching Info page.

Our kayak tours also afford the best opportunities to spot some of the less famous denizens of the San Juan Islands such as humpback whales, minke whales, otters and mink. Please read about our two-day and three-day San Juan Island kayak trip details to discover features shared by all of our camping adventures. This kayak expedition is also available as a Women’s-Only Kayaking Vacation.

Trip Details: Five-Day San Juan Island Kayak Tour


5 Days

Group Size

All Group Sizes

Age Range

All Ages

Activity Level


Starting From



8am Every Day


San Juan Islands, WA

RATED 4.7/5

(786 Reviews)

  • Schedule: Monday-Friday.
  • Trip Fee: $1249 plus $10 government launch fee.
  • Meeting Place: Friday Harbor, San Juan Island. Look for our van and kayak trailer in the traffic circle adjacent to the Friday Harbor Ferry Terminal.
  • Meeting Time: 8:00am. On some dates there may be a slight difference in trip start time. Our online reservation system will indicate this if you enter a specific date. Ask about earlier or later departures if the starting times shown don’t work for you!
  • Day 1 Itinerary: The van delivers us to a beach facing the main orca whale watching corridor. After packing the kayaks, we engage in an hour-long kayaking tutorial and safety briefing, and your guide will help improve your paddling skills right through the kayak expedition. Kayaking time fluctuates from 4 to 6 hours each day, resulting in daily distances of 8 to 12 miles. Many floating rest breaks, and one to three daily shore visits keep us invigorated. We explore the countless isles and reefs that make up the archipelago and camp at a variety of beautiful marine parks.
  • Days 2, 3, 4 Itinerary: After enjoying the sunrise and the dawn bird chorus, we meet to discuss our kayaking route for the day. A weather/current check and guest input is crucial for making our daily decision. Our route is very flexible and may involve a partial circumnavigation of San Juan Island or an exploration of the northwest portion of the archipelago. Most days will find us kayaking a good chunk of time in the primary killer whale watching waters and the remainder in areas where orcas are seen several times monthly. Stunning views of the Mount Baker volcano, the Cascade Range, and Olympic Mountains always surround us. A favorite event of most five day kayak tours is a 5½ mile round trip hike to the Turn Point lighthouse atop a magnificent sea cliff used by nesting peregrine falcons. This beautiful vantage point, like several others we may visit, are famous for sun sets and sightings of orca whales and porpoises. Evenings may involve a hike, or short paddle forays to enjoy the sunset or displays of bioluminescence on moonless nights.
  • Day 5 Itinerary: After enjoying our final sunrise and breakfast we hit the water for a final and well earned voyage through the prime wildlife habitat in the Salish Sea. After landing we reboard the van for the drive to Friday Harbor.
  • Finish Time & Place: Friday Harbor Ferry Terminal between 1:00 and 3:00pm. This allows you time to catch various departing ferries if you desire to leave the island that evening.


Frequently Asked Questions​


Five day kayak expeditions are for people who want to fully immerse themselves into nature for the longest period we offer and completely sync into the rhythm of kayak camping in the San Juan Islands. The tour length is such that most people really feel fulfilled by their vacation experience and some often wish they could stay longer. Join a five day expedition with Sea Quest Kayak Tours in the San Juan Islands for an adventure of a lifetime!
Our five day kayak camping expeditions are the longest tour we offer. We suggest either previous paddling experience or prior camping experience. In addition to this, we recommend staying in moderate physical condition as we a lot of physical activity throughout the week. Great exercises include walking, cycling, swimming and of course paddling! You can also stay in shape by focusing on core and upper body exercises.

You can kayak to many different islands on a five day camping expedition. Because of the length of the trip we will usually camp in at least 2 distinct campsites. However, given appropriate weather and current conditions it is possible to camp on 4 separate islands each night. Here are some islands we camp on:

  • Posey Island
  • Stuart Island
  • Patos Island
  • Sucia Island
  • Orcas Island
  • Jones Island
  • Turn Island
  • San Juan Island

Patos Island Marine State Park camping is incredible. The entire island can only be accessed by boat. The island sits at the opening of Georgia Strait which can at times appear like an endless see of blue. Due to the remote nature of the island it is lightly trafficked even in the busy summer season. Overall the 207-acre marine park delivers much need solitude from the outside world. The marine state park features a 1.5 mile loop trail to a historic lighthouse on the Northwest side.

Patos Island has the following amenities:

  • Picnic and Day-Use Facilities
  • Lighthouse tours most weekends Memorial – Labor Day
  • Mooring buoys
  • Campsites
  • Composting vault toilets

Point Doughty Natural Area Preserve camping is spectacular. The preserve can only be accessed by boat. The campsite area sits on the precipice of a geologic spine and overlooks Presidents Channel and Waldron Island. A brief walk permits the camper a jaw dropping view of Mount Baker. Being a DNR site, the campsite is lightly trafficked even in the busy summer season. Escape to an other worldly island retreat.

Point Doughty Natural Area Preserve has the following amenities:

  • Picnic and Day-Use Facilities
  • Campsites
  • Composting vault toilets



We provide the following:

Sea kayaks, all related sea kayaking trip gear, safety equipment, transportation to and from Friday Harbor and the launch beach, instruction and expert guides. While camping, meals provided include breakfast and dinner. Our all inclusive listing price includes spacious tents to ensure you will be well rested for adventure. Sleeping bags and pads can be rented for an additional nominal fee – but feel free to bring your own!

What you need to bring:

Beach clothing, beach foot wear, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and lunch. Bring a hat, warm sweater and rain jacket if cool, cloudy, windy or rainy. A detailed packing list of camping related household items will be provided after you book your tour!



Click the chart above to open a full-size version in PDF format that you can zoom and print!  

Our extended five-day kayak expedition promises a more encompassing adventure, ideal for those seeking a deeper exploration and a broader experience compared to shorter trips. Tailored for avid adventurers and expeditioners, this journey offers a comprehensive immersion into the stunning landscapes and rich marine life of the San Juan Islands.

Embark on our diverse range of five-day kayak routes, each promising unique encounters with killer whales and other marine species. While our typical routes are represented by red lines, the exact course of your expedition may vary, adding an element of surprise to your adventure.

There are many routes to choose from but there is no “Set Route” because we believe in being flexible to the needs and safety of our customers given a multitude of factors.

In general we might take the “North” route, which leads you through vital orca whale watching corridors, or our “South” route, where you’ll explore the rich marine biodiversity of the region. Camp at picturesque sites such as Stuart and Posey Islands State Parks, Jones Island State Park, Point Doughty, Patos Island State Park, and Griffin Bay DNR campsites, with opportunities for rewarding hikes and exceptional whale sightings.

Our decisions on routes are guided by recent whale activity, weather forecasts, and campsite availability, ensuring a safe and rewarding experience for all adventurers. Whether you’re navigating through tidal currents or exploring hidden coves, our five-day kayak expedition promises an unforgettable journey into the heart of nature’s wonders.


Our five day kayak camping tours are the longest tour we offer. We suggest either previous paddling experience or prior camping experience. In addition to this, we recommend staying in moderate physical condition as we a lot of physical activity throughout the week. Great exercises include walking, cycling, swimming and of course paddling! You can also stay in shape by focusing on core and upper body exercises.