While swapping tales around the campfire, you might feel compelled to confide to your fellow travelers, "I wasn't sure I was the camping type, but this is one of the best vacations I've had." No surprise - you're camping with Backroads in the spectacular San Juans. Where Cascade peaks and the Olympic Range provide the perfect backdrop for exhilarating rides and hikes. Where bald eagles, sea otters and whales make frequent appearances. And where majestic forests, glittering waterways, stunning sunsets and star-studded skies are all part of the usual routine. Deluxe camping with Backroads? Don't say we didn't warn you - it's habit-forming!
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 spacious dome tents easily accommodate two adults and their gear. 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.
AttireComfortable, casual attire and footwear is strongly recommended - leave those heels or imported Italian leather loafers at home! Also be sure to bring along a few warm layers for the cooler evenings.
Day 1 Enjoy a bald eagle's-eye view from atop Mount Constitution - you can spot the San Juan archipelago, Mount Rainier, Mount Baker and the Olympic Range Ferry to Orcas Island for a fantastic day of hiking around Moran State Park, a nature-lover's paradise of 5,000 wooded acres Feel like cooling off? There's nothing more refreshing than a brisk plunge into Cascade Lake.
Days 2-3 Keep your eyes on the water for the chance to spot orcas and humpbacks on Haro Strait, the "Whale Highway" After a morning hike to the sound, board a chartered vessel for a wildlife-watching cruise to Lopez Island Picturesque rural terrain (wild blackberries anyone?) lines the route to our scenic campground Pedal to Shark Reef and witness the fast-moving current between Lopez and San Juan Islands Enjoy a bit of gallery-hopping in friendly Lopez Village.
Day 4 An array of activities showcasing the best of the islands - San Juan Island is next on our list After dropping anchor at Friday Harbor, hike up Young Hill for breathtaking views of the sound Then head out for a spin on San Juan Island's tranquil roads.
Days 5-6 Paddle a kayak on peaceful inlets and vast kelp beds, spotting harbor seals, otters and bald eagles Pedal on roller-coaster terrain to Friday Harbor, where you can check out the exhibits at the Whale Museum before our final ferry ride.
- Experience Orcas, Lopez and San Juan Islands by foot, bike and kayak
- Swap pedals for a paddle on an optional sea-kayaking excursion
- Meander among the tide pools at Shark Reef
- Scout for the region's resident orcas on Haro Strait, the "Whale Highway"
- Head to the summit of Mount Constitution for 360-degree mountain and island views
Moran State Park Campground (1 night): Our campsite is near the shore of serene Cascade Lake, a great spot for a refreshing dip.
Spencer Spit Campground (2 nights): Set out in the sound on a slender spit, this campground offers stunning vistas over the water.
Lakedale Campground (2 nights): Surrounded by 50 acres of lakes, this site has a beach for swimming and fishing.
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.
Routes For All Abilities
|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||Wildlife-Watching Cruise to Lopez Island (3 Hours)|
|Kayaking||On the Haro Strait (3 Hours)|
* Includes a shuttle
2015 Dates & Pricing*
- 9/14-19 Price: $2098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $100 for sgl. occ.)
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
Private Trips Options & Pricing
Pricing for Private Trips (prices may vary based on departure date)
|8 - 9 guests from $2,898 pp dbl. occ.||12 or more guests from $2,098 pp dbl. occ.|
|10 - 11 guests from $2,398 pp dbl. occ.|
Guest Trip Reviews
Overall I was on a six week adventure, with Backroads being one week. It was probably the best week. As far as activity, guides, and environment . . . Backroads was the best. I can not get over how much fun I had, how perfect it was for me (ability to be part of a group or solo, go in or out, and level of challenge) Backroads will definitely be a part of my vacation planning, on a continuous level. The thing is, I have been on adventure for the past five weeks, and Backroads just jumps to the front of my brain when I remember what a great time I had!- Lahaina, HI
Amazing! I had a fantastic trip, particularly since it was my first active adventure vacation. While I appreciated the variety of fitness levels this trip catered to, it really inspired me to push myself farther than I ever have. My biggest dilemma now is trying to decide which trip to go on next!- Tualatin, OR