From the sheltered waters within the San Juan archipelago, to the more exposed shorelines surrounding the islands, there is always something interesting to see. The near-water level view that you get from a kayak is an exciting place to see the amazing assortment of intertidal and shoreline life, sea birds and marine mammals that reside here. Although there is no guarantee of whale sightings, kayakers are seasonally blessed with orca sightings, gray whale encounters and the occasional minke whale sighting. Paddlers often see harbor seals sunning themselves or sneakily following their kayaks. There are also stellar sea lions, harbor porpoise, playful river otters, beach-roving minks and the occasional swimming deer!
The bird watching opportunities in this maritime climate are numerous indeed. Hear ravens conversing, watch osprey and peregrine falcons hunting, and auklets diving beneath our kayaks.
In any season, the San Juans have something exciting to offer the attentive sea kayaker. The diversity and inherent beauty of this area is appreciated by those who reside here and by those who visit. Yet, the Islands are especially rewarding to the kayakers who experience them while propelling themselves along the region's ancient waterways.
Lopez Island is located in the San Juan Islands, north of Seattle, WA. Lopez is often considered the "friendly island". You may notice that people will wave as you drive past. It is thought that this custom began in the prohibition days, when a wave signaled that the authorities were on the island. There are now around 2200 full-time residents on Lopez. With such a small population, there is a strong sense of community. Visiting Lopez is always an exciting and interesting experience.
Directions and Accommodations
From Seattle-Tacoma International Airport: Rental cars are available at the airport, then you can drive to the San Juan Islands' ferry terminal, in Anacortes, WA.
The Airporter Shuttle/ Bell Air Charters will take you from the airport to the ferry terminal.
Phone # 866-235-5247
West Isle Air will fly you from Seattle (Boeing field) to the airport on Lopez Island.
Phone # 800-874-4434
From San Juan Islands' ferry terminal in Anacortes, WA: When driving onto the ferry, Lopez is the first stop. We will give you directions to the put in. You can also park your car at the Anacortes ferry terminal (there is a small parking fee) and walk onto the ferry. We do have a limited capacity to pick you up at the ferry dock on Lopez and take you to the put-in at an additional charge.
Check out www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries for ferry schedule and fares.
Bed and Breakfasts:
- Edenwild Inn, 800-606-0662 www.EdenwildInn.com
- MacKaye Harbor Inn, 360-468-2253 www.MacKayeHarborInn.com
Cottages and Houses:
- Lopez Farm Cottages and Tent Camping, 360-468-3555 www.LopezFarmCottages.com
- Blue Fjord Cabins, 360-468-2749
- Lopez Village Properties (house rentals), 888-772-9735 www.lopezisproperties.com
- Raven's Rook Guest Cabin, 877-321-2493, RavensRook@RockIsland.com
- Lopez Islander Resort, 800-736-3434
- Odlin County Park, 360-378-1842
- Spencer Spit State Park, 360-468-2251