We've found our rhythm. As we bike, our pedal strokes are in sync (well, mostly). So are our faces, full of big smiles. And our state of being, totally relaxed and content. Then we take to the water in our kayaks. The sun is shining. The water sparkling. Below us are thriving kelp beds and vibrant marine life. Ahead of us is a hike to the peak of a pine-laden isle inhabited by bald eagles. All around is the invigorating smell of adventure and we drink it in with every breath. Ahh. It's good to be here. Together. In sync. In a perfect natural playground. In the San Juans.
Days 1-2 Kids search for creatures in the tide pools of False Bay on San Juan Island and learn about Roche Harbor on a scavenger hunt The quaint streets of Friday Harbor, lined with shops and galleries, invite a stroll Walk to the summit of Young Hill for a sweeping view of the San Juan Islands Bike along the isle's stunning west side to a bluff with vistas of Haro Strait and enjoy a thrilling descent to Cattle Point Lighthouse.
Day 3 A sea-kayaking excursion through peaceful inlets and vast kelp beds Adults pedal along rolling hills through bucolic farmland to Friday Harbor while kids enjoy an afternoon of tie-dyeing and games In town, visit the Whale Museum and learn about marine mammals, with a special focus on the orcas that frequent the waters off the San Juan Islands.
Day 4 Look for minke whales and majestic orcas during our wildlife-watching cruise with a local naturalist On Orcas Island, hike along the cedar-lined shores of Cascade Lake Explore Moran State Park, a nature lover’s paradise of 5,000 wooded acres, 30 miles of trails, 5 freshwater lakes and 4 waterfalls The younger set whoops it up during a night at the Fun House, an interactive center designed especially for kids.
Days 5-6 Waterfront lodging and fresh Northwest cuisine Ferry to Lopez Island and enjoy its gentler terrain and beautiful rural scenery Junior biologists are sure to get a kick out of exploring the nooks and crannies of the intertidal zone at Shark Reef Back on Orcas, ascend Mount Constitution for 360-degree views of the islands, Mount Rainier, Mount Baker and the Olympic Range.
- Explore San Juan, Orcas and Lopez Islands by foot, bike and kayak
- Paddle peaceful inlets above vast kelp beds, spotting harbor seals, otters and bald eagles
- Kids look for tiny sea creatures in the tide pools of False Bay
- A wildlife-watching cruise and the chance to see orcas
- Mount Constitution, with 360-degree mountain and island views
Roche Harbor Resort (3 nights): Located in the charming waterfront hamlet of Roche Harbor, this popular island destination has hosted guests since 1886, when it was part of a lime works and company town. (pool, tennis)
Outlook Inn (2 nights): It's a short walk to the private beach and the shops and galleries of downtown from this retreat at the water's edge.
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|
|Kayaking||In Roche Harbor (3 Hours)|
|Other||Orcas Island Wildlife-Watching Cruise (3 Hours)|
* Includes a shuttle
2015 Dates & Pricing*
- 6/28-7/3 Price: $3098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1180 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/12-17 Price: $2898 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1180 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/19-24 Price: $2898 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1180 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/2-7 Price: $2898 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1180 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/9-14 Price: $2898 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1180 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/16-21 Price: $3098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1180 for sgl. occ.)
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
Recommended Kids Ages
- Recommended minimum age for the trip: 6 years
- Minimum age restriction to ride own bike: 9 years
- Minimum age restriction to kayak: 6 years
General Info on Minimum Ages:We strongly encourage families to join our Family Trips, designed with kid- and adult-friendly features. Please note that we have a minimum age requirement of 1 year for all Inn trips and 2 years for all Camping trips. Other than that, we do not restrict trips to a minimum age except in the rare case of a hotel age restriction. We do, however, recommend minimum ages based on the following criteria:
- 12+ amount of cultural appreciation, difficulty of activities, routes
- 9+ difficulty of activities/activity age restrictions, routes
- 6+ several longer dinners; routes are difficult for pulling a Burley and therefore not appropriate for younger children; difficulty of activities/activity age restrictions
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 from a large selection of dates for your group of 8 or more. Call us for date availability.
If your party has fewer than 8 guests, or if your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you.
Pricing for Private Trips (prices may vary based on departure date)
|2 - 3 guests from $4,998 pp dbl. occ.||8 - 9 guests from $3,598 pp dbl. occ.|
|4 - 5 guests from $4,198 pp dbl. occ.||10 - 11 guests from $3,198 pp dbl. occ.|
|6 - 7 guests from $3,798 pp dbl. occ.||12 or more guests from $2,898 pp dbl. occ.|
Please note: Youth savings do not apply to Private Trips.
Guest Trip Reviews
Again, the trip met and surpassed our expectations. Backroads and the leaders always make it difficult to return to our regular lives. This is our third trip and we've selected next year's trip. Thank you and your staff. The experience of the Backroads trips that we have taken and that we plan to take adds so much to our lives. The planning, thoughtfulness and kindness of the staff always make our trips times to anticipate and relish. Thank you for providing an experience of enjoyment, challenge and peacefulness.- White Bear Lake, MN
This was our best family vacation! Our leaders were just wonderful - helpful, friendly and working constantly to make a perfect trip for us. The kids adored them. We are already thinking of where we should go next year with Backroads. Thank you!- San Francisco, CA
The overall trip exceeded my highest expectations. The activities were well planned for all levels. The leaders were enthusiastic, encouraging when needed and a lot of fun.- Chestnut Hill, MA