We've found our rhythm. Our paddle strokes are in sync (well, mostly). So are our faces, full of big smiles. And our state of being, totally relaxed and content. The sun is shining. The water sparkling. And a seal just popped his whiskered nose up next to our kayak. Below us are thriving kelp beds. Beside us are pine-laden isles inhabited by bald eagles. And all around is the invigorating smell of adventure. Ahh. It's good to be here. Together. In sync. 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 After a bountiful picnic at historic British Camp, 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 From bocce ball to spa treatment, great choices abound in the afternoon.
Day 3 A sea-kayaking excursion through peaceful inlets and vast kelp beds Pedal along rolling hills through bucolic farmland to Friday Harbor 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 Kids whoop it up during a night at the Fun House, an interactive center designed especially for children.
Days 5-6 Waterfront lodging and fresh Northwest cuisine Ferry to Lopez Island and enjoy its gentler terrain and beautiful rural scenery 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. We settle into the well-appointed and recently built Quarryman suites.
Outlook Inn (2 nights): It's a short walk to the private beach and the shops and galleries of downtown from this retreat at water's edge. Our bay view suites have the best vistas in Eastsound.
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 (3.5 hours)|
* Includes a shuttle
2013 Dates & Pricing*
- 7/8-13 Price: $2998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $800 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/22-27 Price: $2998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $800 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/29-8/3 Price: $3198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $800 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/5-10 Price: $3198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $800 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
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 years trip. Thank you and your staff. The experience of the Backroads trips that we have taken and that we plan to take add 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