• Activities:

    Chillin, Camping, Photography, Kayaking, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    16 Miles

Beach
Forest
Scenic
Wildlife

Awesome paddle to explore an uninhabited island off the coast of Washington.

We set out from the town of Anacortes, WA from Seafarers Memorial Park with a group of 6 people. Two in single kayaks and four in two tandem kayaks. After setting out into the water, keep to the west of Guemes island and follow the shoreline for a shorter trip or follow the east side for a longer day of paddling. 

About five miles in and after following the shoreline of Guemes for about three, you will begin the open water crossing to Cypress Island. Only do this section if the current and wind are low otherwise it will be very hard or even impossible if they're strong enough. Check the NOAA conditions to decide when the right time to cross would be and stick with that schedule. Once you are across, paddle to the little sand bar on the east side of the island, called Cypress Head. Here there is a free campground area and it is also the start of many trails around the island. Set up your camp around here and enjoy the sunset and the sound of the water here. 

In the morning, if you're lucky enough, you may see pods of Orcas swimming in the open water around the island. Upon return, roughly follow the same route you took to get there and arrive back at Seafarers Memorial Park. The entire trip length is roughly 16 miles roundtrip.

Pack List

  • Kayaks for everybody in your group. (Tandems make paddling easier)
  • Dry Bags
  • Extra Paddle
  • Spray Skirt
  • Personal Floatation Device (PFD)
  • Shoes that can get wet
  • Camping necessities (sleeping bag, tent, etc.)
  • Food/Water for duration of your trip
  • Sunglasses
  • Rain gear (Because it's the PNW...)
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Ben Matthews

I am an adventure/lifestyle photographer based in Seattle, WA. I have a strong passion for the outdoors and keeping our wild places wild. You can usually find me in the mountains, on the river, or somewhere in between.

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