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Mercer Island Sea Kayaking Loop

Lake Washington, Seattle

Seattle + Tacoma Metro Area, Washington

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Mercer Island Sea Kayaking Loop

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  • Approaching Mercer Island from the west.- Mercer Island Sea Kayaking Loop
  • The southwestern point of Mercer Island.- Mercer Island Sea Kayaking Loop
  • Mount Rainier (14,409') emerges from the haze caused by the 2014 central Washington forest fires.- Mercer Island Sea Kayaking Loop
  • A view of the South Point of Mercer Island.- Mercer Island Sea Kayaking Loop
  • Floating off the eastern shore of Mercer Island.- Mercer Island Sea Kayaking Loop
  • A smoke plume rises from the forest fires in Central Washington. Given the direction of the plume, the smoke could be from the Carlton Complex fire or the fires outside of Leavenworth.- Mercer Island Sea Kayaking Loop
  • Looking east at the Seattle Seahawks traning facility.- Mercer Island Sea Kayaking Loop
  • An old boat sits docked in the shade off the coast of Mercer Island.- Mercer Island Sea Kayaking Loop
  • Checking the bearing off the eastern shore of Mercer Island.- Mercer Island Sea Kayaking Loop
  • Looking northeast at I-90 and the entrance to Mercer Slough.- Mercer Island Sea Kayaking Loop
  • The significantly rougher waters north of I-90 knock against the kayak.- Mercer Island Sea Kayaking Loop
  • Mount Rainer (14,409') rises above Mercer Island.- Mercer Island Sea Kayaking Loop
  • The setting sun illuminates low-hanging clouds over Seattle.- Mercer Island Sea Kayaking Loop
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Close to Seattle. Good practice for long trips.
Cons: 
Busy. No shore access. Repetitive views. Few boats follow the no-wake speed limit.
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Region:
Seattle + Tacoma Metro Area, WA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Site characteristics: Water: 
Lake
Motorized watercraft allowed: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Portage required: 
No
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
4.00 mi (6.44 km)
Water difficulty: 
Easy / Class A
Current Local Weather:
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Paddle Description

Paddle Description

Contributor

Mercer Island is a city on an island of the same name, and it is among the most populated lake islands in the United States. Named after the Virginian Mercer family, the island was first settled in the mid 1870s by brothers Thomas and Asa Mercer. Thomas Mercer was responsible for the naming of both Lake Washington and Lake Union in 1858. The towns of East Seattle and Mercer Island merged in 1970 to become the island-encompassing city of Mercer Island.

The Mercer Island Boat Launch is the only publicly accessible boat launch on Mercer Island, and it is located under the I-90 overpass on the eastern shore. Kayaking around Mercer Island illustrates just how much the I-90 floating bridge acts as a wave break. The waters south of I-90 tend to be protected and much calmer, while the waves can pick up considerably north of the floating bridge. Even though there are frequent buoys proclaiming a no wake zone, don't expect many of the boaters in the area to abide by the posted speed limit. The tour around the island provides an excellent training opportunity for longer island hopping trips where there are no places to disembark the kayak, as the only landing point on the island aside from the Mercer Island Boat Launch is located at Luther Burbank Park on the north end of the island. Lovers of architecture will enjoy the abundant multi-million dollar houses that populate the shores of the island. 

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Nearby Camping + Lodging

(3 within a 30 mile radius)

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(108 within a 30 mile radius)

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