Map of Cycle Washington's San Juan Islands including United States Of America

Embrace laid-back island life from handlebar height

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.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Anacortes, United States
Finish
Anacortes, United States
Destination
United States
Style
Original
Theme
Cycling
Code
SSXJ
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 13

Why you'll love this trip

  • 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.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations and working with new partners can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.

  • Please ensure you consult your local government’s advice regarding domestic travel prior to booking this trip.

  • To complete this trip it is important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle.

  • While the cycling distances on this trip are relatively short, the stunning terrain of the San Juan Islands is occasionally hilly so you’ll need a reasonable level of fitness to enjoy the trip. We will always have a support vehicle on hand if you need to take a break for an hour or a day.

  • For groups of less than 6 travellers, we have a single leader that drives the support vehicle alongside the group. For larger groups, we have a separate driver and the leader will cycle all routes. Where the vehicle cannot travel directly with the cyclists (e.g. a cyclists-only path) your leader will assign a person from the group to act as a backmarker.

  • As our riding is done mostly on sealed roads with the occasional gravel cycle path, there are no technical cycling skills required. But given the occasional hills involved, we do suggest practicing riding downhill so you are comfortable with this once the trip begins.

  • The included bikes on this trip are a flat bar 'hyrid-style'. If you feel like doing all the riding but with less effort, you have the option (at extra cost) of hiring an electric bike (e-bike) or a road bike on this trip.

Itinerary

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.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance and emergency contact details at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.

Today’s riding distance is approximately 27 kms/17 miles, undulating with 435 m/1400 ft of overall elevation gain.
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.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Whale Museum - USD9
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s riding distance is approximately 52 kms/32 miles, undulating with 825 m/2700 ft of overall elevation gain.

WHALE WATCHING - This activity is very popular and MUST be pre-booked by the client prior to travel. It is extremely difficult to organize at short notice.
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.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • San Juan Island National Historical Park
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s riding distance is approximately 66 kms/41 miles, undulating with 880 m/2900 ft of overall elevation gain.
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.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Orca Whale Watching Tour - This activity is very popular and MUST be pre-booked by the client prior to travel. - USD119
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s riding distance is approximately 30 kms/19 miles, undulating with 375 m/1200 ft of overall elevation gain.

WHALE WATCHING - This activity is very popular and MUST be pre-booked by the client prior to travel. It is extremely difficult to organize at short notice. See Important Notes for booking details.
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.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s riding distance is approximately 60 kms/38 miles, mostly flat with one significant climb and descent, with 1330 m/4400 ft of overall elevation gain. Note you will save around 8 kms/5 miles and almost 600 m/2000 ft of climbing if you opt to take the support vehicle up Mt Constitution instead of cycling up.
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.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s riding distance is approximately 37 kms/23 miles, mostly flat with one significant climb and descent, with 330 m/1100ft of overall elevation gain.

Meals

5 breakfasts

Transport

Bicycle (e-bike option available, subject to availability), Support Vehicle

Accommodation

Simple Hotel/Motel (5 nights)

Included activities

  • San Juan Island National Historical Park

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Cycle Washington's San Juan Islands trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

All travellers on Intrepid trips (outside Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands) are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. From 1 December 2021, all travellers on Intrepid trips, including in Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands, are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Read details here.

1. This trip starts with a welcome meeting at 3pm on Day 1 in Anacortes.
2. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
3. Bicycle hire is included in your trip price. Please advise your height at time of booking so we can organise a suitable sized bike.
4. The included bikes on this trip are a flat bar 'hybrid-style'. You have the option (at extra cost) of hiring an electric bike (e-bike) or a road bike on this trip - this must be requested at the time of booking.
5. A discount is available to those clients bringing their own bike, please ask your booking agent for more information.
6. Bike helmets are compulsory on this trip. We are unable to hire bike helmets locally so please ensure you bring your own bike helmet from home.
7. For group less than 6 clients we have a single leader that drives the support vehicle alongside the group. For larger groups, we have a driver plus a leader that rides with the group.
8. Accommodation is not included on day 6 of this trip. If you require additional accommodation (or want to reserve your room for the main part of the day) please enquire at time of booking.
9. Due to Covid-19 restrictions some of the local attractions may be temporarily closed, running reduced hours, or require booking ahead. Please check their websites for up-to-date opening hours.
10. WHALE WATCHING - This activity is very popular and MUST be pre-booked by the client prior to travel. It is extremely difficult to organize at short notice. https://www.sanjuansafaris.com/boat-tours/whale-watching/whale-watching-... - (360) 378-1323

Essential trip information

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