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James Island Sea Kayaking

San Juan Islands

Northern Puget Sound, Washington

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James Island Sea Kayaking

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  • James Island is a rugged state park, easily accessible from Orcas or Anacortes.- James Island Sea Kayaking
  • Bird Rocks is a fun place to watch the wildlife during the crossing of Rosario Strait.- James Island Sea Kayaking
  • One of the many views from the bluffs of James Island State Park.- James Island Sea Kayaking
  • A kayak rests on one of the beaches on James Island.- James Island Sea Kayaking
  • One of the many views from the bluffs of James Island State Park.- James Island Sea Kayaking
  • A kayaker unloads his boat at camp.- James Island Sea Kayaking
  • The fog clears in the afternoon at one of the campsites on James Island.- James Island Sea Kayaking
  • The sunset lights up the sky.- James Island Sea Kayaking
  • James Island is a popular stop on longer trips throughout the San Juan Islands.- James Island Sea Kayaking
  • A kayak rests on one of the beaches on James Island.- James Island Sea Kayaking
  • The fog clears in the afternoon at one of the campsites on James Island.- James Island Sea Kayaking
  • Gear dries at camp on James Island.- James Island Sea Kayaking
  • A sailboat off the coast of the island.- James Island Sea Kayaking
  • Crab shells scattered along the beach on James Island.- James Island Sea Kayaking
  • Spiderwebs hang from the trees in the dense forests that cover the island.- James Island Sea Kayaking
  • The island offers three Cascadia Marine Trail campsites.- James Island Sea Kayaking
  • One of the many scenic campsites on James Island.- James Island Sea Kayaking
  • Fires are permitted unless otherwise posted.- James Island Sea Kayaking
  • James Island State Park.- James Island Sea Kayaking
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Solitude. Great views. Trails. Beaches.
Cons: 
Open water crossing from Anacortes. Raccoons can be a problem. No potable water.
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Region:
Northern Puget Sound, WA
Congestion: 
Low
Site characteristics: Water: 
Sound/Strait
Motorized watercraft allowed: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Portage required: 
No
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Water difficulty: 
Moderate / Class B
Current Local Weather:
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Paddle Description

Paddle Description

Contributor

James Island State Park is a secluded island off the western coast of Decatur Island. The island can easily be accessed from Lopez Island, and it can also be reached by crossing Rosario Strait from Fidalgo Head, which avoids the hassle of taking a ferry.  Either route involves possible tide rips, but the route from Fidalgo Head involves a 3 mile open water crossing with possible shipping traffic. 

James Island offers three Cascadia Marine Trail sites as well as 10 other campsites throughout the island. A mile and a half of trails crisscross the island, offering ample forests and beaches to explore dotting. The northern side of the island is designated as a natural forest area, and it is closed to the public, but the rest of the island's recreational trails are open to explore and provide great views of the San Juan Islands from the western side of the park.  

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(10 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(94 within a 30 mile radius)

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