Prepare for your Half Day or Full Day Kayak Trip

No Experience Necessary on this Trip!

Meeting Place and Time for Anacortes Trips

For our Half Day Kayak Trips please meet 30 minutes prior your scheduled departure at our store (2009 Skyline Way) in Anacortes, unless instructed otherwise by our office staff.

We are located just past the San Juan Island Ferry Terminal, in Skyline Marina

Driving Directions

Meeting Place and Time for San Juan Island Day Trips


If you are driving your own vehicle and meeting directly at Roche harbor for your Day Trip, please follow these directions to Roche Harbor Resort and meet us at the Marine Activities Center kayak docks 30 minutes prior to your trip departure.

FYI: If you drive onto the San Juan Ferry then we recommend arriving at the Anacortes ferry terminal at least 1-2 hours early if you have no reservation. If you have a reservation then you need to be at the ferry terminal at least 30 minutes prior to sailing time. Reservations are strongly recommended.


If you are walking onto the ferry then there is a complimentary shuttle from Friday Harbor that will pick you up at at the Memorial Circle on the corner of Front St and Spring St in Friday Harbor. Please be there approximately 30-60 mins before your trip is set to depart. (Look for the white Gazebo furniture.)

Please check out the Washington State Ferry Schedule to ensure you make it to the ferry on time. We recommend that you arrive 30 minutes early to the San Juan Island Ferry terminal in order to ensure you won’t miss your trip.

If you decide to change your mind and drive onto the ferry then please let us know so that we can cancel your seat on the shuttle. Thank you!

Gear You Will Need

Dress appropriately for the weather. We like to say “as if you were going for a walk in the forest that day.” Usually this means layers, preferably non-cotton if you have the choice (no big deal if not). Summer time weather in the San Juan Islands is usually mild and so most days you will likely be fine in shorts, t-shirt, and water-compatible shoes (or old sneakers), but come prepared. Bring an extra layer, a windbreaker, and a change of clothes to leave in your car in case you get anything wet.

  • Shorts or pants (non-cotton if possible)
  • T-shirt (long or short sleeved, non-cotton if possible)
  • Extra layer: fleece/wool sweater/synthetic insulating layer
  • Light rain-jacket or windbreaker
  • Shoes you don’t mind getting wet (flip flops are okay)
  • Sunglasses (important)
  • Binoculars
  • Sunscreen
  • Baseball cap or sun hat with chin strap, (wool or fleece hat if it is chilly)
  • Light snack for on the water (candy bar, granola bar, GORP, etc.)
  • Water bottle (very important, 1 liter per person at least)
  • Any appropriate medications that you might need

Anacortes Kayak Tours will provide

  • All kayaking gear (boat, paddles, spray decks, life jackets)
  • A professionally trained and fun kayak coach/guide, with a comprehensive safety kit
  • Dry bags for your personal gear, usually one 20L bag per kayak.

Age Limits

If you have younger kids (under 12) then please call before making a reservation.

We’ve found that most kids younger than three years old have a difficult time sitting in a kayak for the duration of the trip. Some older children may also need to move around more. As parents you probably know your children’s capabilities, and if you are in doubt then please consider taking our Family Trip in Deception Pass State Park. This will enable you to determine whether a longer trip is possible. Also, you’ll be paddling with your child, either by yourself in a tandem kayak or with another member of your family in a triple. Alone in a tandem means that there will be more work involved and you may need to consider your physical strength.

That being said, on the Half Day Trip we have taken kids as young as three on many occasions. Usually it works best if you come as a larger group and have a private trip (call for details). This way there is no pressure to keep up with other participants, and everyone is happier.

Anacortes Kayak Tours prides itself on being the most family-friendly kayaking company in the San Juan Islands. We consider your kids to be an investment in the future and we want to get them out on the water and developing an active lifestyle and an appreciation of the natural world!

Weight Limit

For your safety and comfort we have a weight limit of 265 pounds (per person) in tandems, and 225 pounds (per person) in singles.

Health / Physical Limits

Our #1 priority is to bring you home safely. In the extremely unlikely event of a capsize we need to know that you’re physically capable of keeping your face above the water (oxygen promotes better living), that you’re able in some fashion to assist with the rescue, and that your heart can take the stress of the immersion and exertion of an unplanned accident. If you think that you may be at risk then please call us to discuss possibilities. We’d love to try and help you find a solution, and if possible to get you out on the water. If you have other health related issues, then please let us know at the time of booking so that we can note it and be prepared—particularly things like diabetes that can be fairly easily controlled.

Deafness and blindness will not prevent you from enjoying our tours, but please let us know at the time of booking.

If you have any health issues on the day of your trip, please pull your guide aside and let him or her know. This includes even small issues (like diarrhea) that can turn a great trip into a nightmare for you. Our guides can then plan the trip accordingly.


We have a 48 hour cancellation policy for these trips. Please refer to our Cancellation Policy page for details.


Don’t worry, even though we personally feel that cloudy and/or rainy days are the best conditions to be kayaking in, we will still take you out when the sun shines!

Seriously though, we enjoy about 250 days of sunshine per year, mostly in the summer. Even when it does sprinkle on us it rarely lasts more than a few minutes. We won’t cancel for rain.

The only weather that will cancel a trip is windy weather. Your comfort and safety are our biggest concern.

A Few Rules—Please Read!

  • No Smoking on these trips. This is a safety concern for us, many people get seasick after being exposed to cigarette/cigar smoke.
  • Please do not litter. Does this really need any explaining?
  • Sorry, no dogs. We like them, but they tend to tear the heck out of the boats and can disrupt the trip enjoyment of other guests.
  • Your guide needs you to follow their instructions. Please respect this.
  • Respect the wildlife who make the San Juan Islands their home. We give the whales plenty of space when they are around, we try not to frighten seals that are hauled out on the rocks, that sort of thing. Your guide will explain this more out on the water.

And at last, The Fine Print

We strive to…no, we virtually obsess about making sure that we are being entirely open and honest with our marketing language and also when we speak to people about what our trips are like. We’ve been burned before on our travels and we never want to be “that company” when you’re reminiscing with your friends later.

To assist us in placing you on the most appropriate trip please let us know if you have any special requests, concerns, or expectations when you call. That will allow us to either recommend the best trip for your needs, or at least to give you a proper explanation about what we can realistically accomplish for you.

For 4–5 years we have been doing a yearly outing of a guided kayak trip and found your group to be the most organized, friendly and well equipped so far.

Your kayaks, life vests and spray skirts were by far the best, driest and cleanest …And the fact that we did not have to “schlep” our own kayaks off/on the beach and truck was a real treat!! You have a first class organization going and I wish you continued success!!

Noel (Nikki)

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Why choose Anacortes Kayak Tours?

…and more!

Voted #1 Eco-Adventure Company in Western Washington for 2010 and 2012!
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#1 Activity in Anacortes for 2013, 2014 & 2015!