San Juan Islands Family Multisport
- Explore San Juan, Orcas and Lopez islands by foot, bike and kayak
- Paddle through peaceful inlets and vast kelp beds, spotting harbor seals, otters and bald eagles
- Look for tiny sea creatures among the tide pools at Shark Reef
- Whale-watch on Haro Strait, the "Whale Highway"
- Mount Constitution, with 360-degree mountain and island views
Biking, Hiking & Sea Kayaking Washington's Islands of Adventure
What's black and white and wet all over? You guessed it: an orca! And just like these cool sea creatures, you can hang out with your family while having a whale of a time in the San Juan Islands. It's a perfect natural playground. With mountains to climb. Waterways to paddle. Tidal pools to explore. And plenty of games for the whole gang. Like stone skipping. Berry picking. Starfish spotting. Ice cream eating. Shorebird skirting. Constellation naming. Lopez Island waving. It's all waiting for you. You and your pod.
We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.
Tents & Sleeping EssentialsOur roomy four-person dome tents accommodate two adults and two small children snugly, without luggage. Sleeping bag, sleep sheet and an extra-thick inflatable sleeping pad are all provided to make sleeping on the ground more comfortable. Backroads does not supply pillows, so please bring your own. No lighting is provided in your tent, so a small flashlight is essential.
Restroom FacilitiesRestroom facilities are available at each campground. The restroom floors can be wet, so be sure to bring flip-flops! We also recommend bringing a hanging toiletry bag since space is limited and surfaces are wet. Be advised that outlets and mirrors are few. Backroads does not supply towels, so please be sure to pack your own.
ConnectivityKeeping your cell phone charged while on a camping trip is usually done during the day via a car charger in the Backroads van. Backroads will provide car chargers with USB ports, so please make sure to bring your USB connecter cord with you. You’ll be responsible for plugging your phone in and retrieving it at a later time.
Day 1 Mount Constitution, with 360-degree views of the San Juan archipelago, Mount Rainier, Mount Baker and the Olympic Range After taking the ferry to Orcas Island, delight in an awe-inspiring day of hiking around Moran State Park, a nature-lover's paradise of 5,000 wooded acres Kids (and kids at heart!) can cool off with a swim in Cascade Lake.
Days 2-3 After a morning hike to the sound, board a chartered vessel for a wildlife-watching cruise to Lopez Island Picturesque rural terrain lines the bike route to our scenic campground Pedal to Agate Beach and Shark Reef Sanctuary, where the younger crowd will have fun exploring tide pools Lopez Village's cafés and galleries invite a visit.
Day 4 An array of activities showcasing the best of the islands - San Juan Island is next on our list After landing at Friday Harbor, hike to Young Hill and relish breathtaking views of the sound The younger set is treated to a pizza party and private tour of the Whale Museum.
Days 5-6 Paddle through peaceful inlets and vast kelp beds, spotting harbor seals, otters and bald eagles Bike along rolling terrain to Friday Harbor, where you may want to stop in at the Whale Museum yourself before our final ferry ride.
Guests Reviews About This Trip
My children and I had a remarkable time on this trip. I know it had to be an enormous amount of work for the team but they made everything look so easy and every event transitioned so seamlessly. When I asked my 8-year-old daughter to rate Backroads on a scale of 1-10, she gave the trip a score of 9,000,003.- O'Fallon, MO
This was the best family trip we have taken! We all thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it and were sad for it to end. We are afraid that if we go on another Backroads trip it couldn't possibly be this good! The families were a good mix and the leaders were so amazing and cohesive. The San Juan Islands are so beautiful and we were lucky to have perfect weather.- Delray Beach, FL
This was my best vacation ever! The San Juan Islands are spectacular. Seeing their beauty close up and 'out there' was so much better than viewing from a car or bus. The biking, hiking, and sea kayaking were perfect. They and the other members of our group made this trip so much more than a typical vacation. We learned a great deal about the San Juan Islands from the leaders and had great fun doing it. I would recommend this trip to anyone! Our leaders worked great together and had as much fun as we did. Their personal touches topped off this trip, from playing wiffle ball with the kids and Backroads 'Survivor' at the campsites to their deep knowledge of the San Juans.- Clearwater, FL
Moran State Park Campground
Orcas Island (1 night) Our campsite is near the shore of tranquil Cascade Lake, a great spot for a refreshing dip.
Spencer Spit Campground
Lopez Island (2 nights) Set out in the sound on a slender spit, this campground offers stunning vistas over the water.
San Juan Island (2 nights) Surrounded by 50 acres of lakes, this site offers a beach for swimming and a large grassy area for games of all kinds.
Private Trips Options & Pricing
Gather your favorite people to share a Backroads adventure on a ready-to-book Private Trip - featuring all the legendary Backroads hallmarks from expert leaders to unforgettable activities.
You can pick any open date in next year's lineup for your group of 16 or more - just book by December 31st of this year. Call us for date availability.
Youth savings do not apply to Private Trips.
This Trip Is Rated Level 1-3
Routes For All Abilities
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one day to the next-and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do.
|Daily Route Options|
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||Level 5|
|miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain|
|Other||Lopez Island wildlife-watching cruise (3 hours)|
|Kids||Berry picking (1 hour)|
|Kids||Games on the beach (1 hour)|
|Kayaking||In Roche Harbor (3 hours)|
On this Family Trip, our routes follow rolling terrain. Liberal van shuttling is incorporated into the itinerary to facilitate our activities and mileage is kept moderate to enable you to spend more time exploring on your own. The level of difficulty assigned to each day's routes takes into account the elevation gain and road surface. (Roads in the San Juans tend to be gravel-sealed, creating more rolling resistance.)
There is less than 5% of riding on hard-packed dirt on this trip. Since the overwhelming majority of the trip is paved, we've elected to use standard road bike tires on our titanium road bikes. Most guests find this to be the right answer. If you prefer to skip the dirt, a shuttle is always a possibility.
* Includes a shuttle