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San Juan Island, Sea Kayaking Smallpox Bay to Deadman Bay

San Juan Islands

Northern Puget Sound, Washington

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San Juan Island, Sea Kayaking Smallpox Bay to Deadman Bay

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  • The kayak launch at Smallpox Bay.- San Juan Island, Sea Kayaking Smallpox Bay to Deadman Bay
  • Smallpox Bay viewed from the adjacent bluff.- San Juan Island, Sea Kayaking Smallpox Bay to Deadman Bay
  • An orca in the Haro Strait.- San Juan Island, Sea Kayaking Smallpox Bay to Deadman Bay
  • A fishing vessel in the Haro Strait with a storm rolling in.- San Juan Island, Sea Kayaking Smallpox Bay to Deadman Bay
  • Kayaking past an original kiln at Lime Kiln State Park.- San Juan Island, Sea Kayaking Smallpox Bay to Deadman Bay
  • Lime Kiln State Park Lighthouse.- San Juan Island, Sea Kayaking Smallpox Bay to Deadman Bay
  • Kayaking in the abundant kelp.- San Juan Island, Sea Kayaking Smallpox Bay to Deadman Bay
  • The edible kelp up close.- San Juan Island, Sea Kayaking Smallpox Bay to Deadman Bay
  • Deadman Bay.- San Juan Island, Sea Kayaking Smallpox Bay to Deadman Bay
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Whale watching and other sea life. Edible kelp. Lighthouse.
Cons: 
Short warm-weather season.
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Region:
Northern Puget Sound, WA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Site characteristics: Water: 
Sound/Strait
Motorized watercraft allowed: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Portage required: 
No
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Water difficulty: 
Easy / Class A
Current Local Weather:
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Paddle Description

Paddle Description

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Smallpox Bay to Deadman Bay is a paddle filled with sights to see. Looking to the west across Haro Straight you will likely see orcas and porpoises, along with a number of large shipping and fishing vessels. Along the shoreline you can find seals playing among the kelp, a variety of starfish, and the Lime Kiln State Park Lighthouse. If you are looking for a unique experience while you’re out kayaking, try eating a piece of the large kelp growing everywhere along this route—it’s a bit salty with a nice crunch to it—and don’t worry, the locals eat it all the time. 

While there is considerable boat traffic in this area, the large vessels stay further out to sea. Waves are not bad for kayaking thanks to the deep waters off of the shoreline cliffs.  These boats will also make it easy to spot the whales during the months they are in the San Juan Islands, as the whale watching tour boats follow pods as they travel (while maintaining the mandatory distance of at least 200 yards).

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(7 within a 30 mile radius)

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(88 within a 30 mile radius)

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