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Cycle Washington's San Juan Islands


Combine cycling, stunning coastline, relaxed island life and the best that western Washington has to offer. Ride quiet roads from delightful fishing villages to the pristine waters separating the USA from Canada. With great weather and scenery and marine wildlife second to none, the San Juan Islands are a cyclist's paradise. Off the bike you’ll find fascinating history, friendly locals and amazing cuisine – this cycling adventure takes in the best of it all at a pace everyone can enjoy. If you're looking for an unforgettable cycling vacation away from the stresses of everyday life, then this is it.

6 days, from

$2,400

per person

GROUP SIZE

16 people max

ACTIVITY LEVEL

3
Trip code: SSXJ
Style: Original
Print itinerary

Details

Countries Visited:  United States Of America
Accommodation: Simple Hotel/Motel (5 nights)
Transportation: Bicycle (e-bike option available , subject to availability) , Support vehicle
Meals: dinners, 5 breakfasts
Group size: Minimum 1, Max 16

  • Ride a loop of San Juan Island, pausing at Lime Kiln Point, one of the best places in the world to spot passing orca pods.

  • Enjoy local produce at its finest – from locally crafted wines to seafood pulled directly from the pristine waters – with a local leader’s expert insight to guide you to the best spots.

  • Conquer the 2400 foot Mt Constitution – by bike or our support van – and be rewarded with endless seascape and distant mountain views from the summit.

  • Escape busy roads and drift alongside quiet coves, whitewashed lighthouses, green farmland and purple-hued lavender farms, a world away from everyday life.

  • Enjoy a multitude of options off the bike in this marine paradise, from whale spotting cruises to sea kayaking.

Itinerary

Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: Anacortes & Fidalgo Island

Welcome to Anacortes, waterside gateway to Washington’s laid-back San Juan Islands. Your trip begins with a 3 pm welcome meeting with your guide and fellow travellers. Afterwards, enjoy a warm-up ride around beautiful Fidalgo Island, taking in stunning water views of the surrounding Puget Sound. After the ride, you’re free to freshen up and head out to the vibrant Old Town to enjoy dinner at one of the many restaurants. Being this close to the water, seafood is always highly recommended! If you arrive early there is plenty to do in and around Anacortes, from browsing antique stores and art galleries to sea kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. Or, just enjoy a relaxing afternoon exploring the quiet bays and coves nearby.

Day 2: Orcas Island & San Juan Island

Take a ferry (approximately 1 hour) from Anacortes to horseshoe-shaped Orcas Island, the largest of the San Juan Islands. You’ll start riding straight off the boat, heading north to the delightful historic village of Eastsound, scenically located at the top of the fjord-like waters of the same name. After exploring the town, head to a pottery studio featuring the work of several local artists and a stunning natural setting overlooking the Canadian Gulf Islands just across the border. Returning south via scenic Deer Harbor, take another ferry ride to the seaport town of Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. Here you have time to explore this charming and easily walkable town. You may wish to explore the Whale Museum in preparation for an optional whale-watching boat ride later this week.

Day 3: San Juan Island

After breakfast, take a cycling loop around the entire island along the quiet yet picturesque roads that make up the San Juan Island Scenic Byway. In the middle of the 19th century, San Juan Island was subject to a border dispute and was once divided between the UK and the USA, as both claimed it as their territory. You’ll have options to stop along the way to learn more about this quirky chapter in American history as you pass by the American and English camps that comprise San Juan Island National Historical Park. You will also take in the sublime water views over False Bay and the whitewashed Lime Kiln Point Lighthouse, recognised as one of the best places in the world to view whales directly from land. Continue your cycling around the island then return to charming Friday Harbor for a relaxing evening.

Day 4: San Juan Island

Today you're back on the bike for a leisurely morning ride, looping inland on the island past the popular organically certified Pelindaba Lavender Farm, one of the largest in the country, before returning to Friday Harbor. The afternoon is free for you to explore – you may wish to board a whale-watching boat and, with luck, see orca whales in the wild. The boat ride is 3-4 hours and if whales aren’t featured you may still see other wildlife including bald eagles. Tonight, you can opt to enjoy another great dinner in Friday Harbor with ample fresh, local seafood options or retire early and save your strength for tomorrow’s ride.

Day 5: Orcas Island & Anacortes

The day starts with a ferry ride (approximately 1 hour) back to Orcas Island – be sure to keep a keen eye out for wildlife as you pass the many smaller islands along the way. Today’s ride is a classic, from the shoreline at Orcas Landing all the way to the summit of Mt Constitution. At 731 metres (2398 feet), it’s the tallest point in the San Juan Islands and features a stunning panoramic view of the surrounding islands in the US and Canada, as well as Washington’s snow-covered Mt Baker rising over 3000 metres (10,000 feet). In addition to the view, your other reward today is the amazing descent back down the mountain to Eastsound. From here, continue by ferry back to Anacortes for your final night and perhaps go out for a group dinner to celebrate your cycling adventure.

Day 6: Anacortes

After breakfast, enjoy one last ride, quite different from what you have experienced on the islands. Leave Anacortes and ride along the Tommy Thompson Trail before walking your bike across an abandoned railroad trestle bridge that spans the Fidalgo Bay Aquatic Reserve. Make sure to keep an eye out for marine life on the way across. Start riding again on the western shore of the bay then on to the quiet wooded roads of the Swinomish Indian Reservation, following the Swinomish Channel and enjoying the gentle pastoral views of the Skagit Valley. From here head west towards the calm waters of Similk Bay and continue all the way back to Anacortes where your cycling adventure ends.

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