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Vashon Island Circumnavigation

Seattle + Tacoma Metro Area, Washington

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Vashon Island Circumnavigation

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  • Kayakers paddle around the pier at Dash Point, a popular spot for fishing and spending time on the beach.- Vashon Island Circumnavigation
  • Approaching the southern tip of Vashon Island.- Vashon Island Circumnavigation
  • The Tahlequah Ferry approaches the dock on the southern end of Vashon Island.- Vashon Island Circumnavigation
  • The Tahlequah Ferry approaches the dock on the southern end of Vashon Island.- Vashon Island Circumnavigation
  • Old and new houses line the banks of Vashon Island throughout Colvos Passage.- Vashon Island Circumnavigation
  • A motorboat cruises up Colvos Passage along Vashon Island's western side.- Vashon Island Circumnavigation
  • Children play ball on one of the many sandy beaches of Vashon Island.- Vashon Island Circumnavigation
  • A sailboat motors through Colvos Passage.- Vashon Island Circumnavigation
  • Lisabuela Park.- Vashon Island Circumnavigation
  • Lisabuela Park is on the Cascade Marine Trail.- Vashon Island Circumnavigation
  • Driftwood lines the beaches near Lisabuela Park.- Vashon Island Circumnavigation
  • Lisabuela Park offers kayakers free camping; however, there is only one site, and no overflow camping is allowed.- Vashon Island Circumnavigation
  • Preparing for the long paddle around Vashon Island from Lisabeula Park.- Vashon Island Circumnavigation
  • Houses line the banks along the north end of Vashon Island.- Vashon Island Circumnavigation
  • Houses line the banks along the north end of Vashon Island.- Vashon Island Circumnavigation
  • A heron sits on a rock near the ferry terminal on the north side of Vashon Island.- Vashon Island Circumnavigation
  • A kayaker approaches the ferry terminal on the north side of Vashon Island.- Vashon Island Circumnavigation
  • People walk and fish along the Dash Point Pier.- Vashon Island Circumnavigation
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Long and varied paddle. Relatively secluded. Free camping.
Cons: 
Small campsites. Ferry and shipping traffic.
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Region:
Seattle + Tacoma Metro Area, WA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Site characteristics: Water: 
Sound/Strait
Motorized watercraft allowed: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Portage required: 
No
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
35.00 mi (56.33 km)
Water difficulty: 
Moderate / Class B
Current Local Weather:
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Paddle Description

Paddle Description

Contributor

Circumnavigating Vashon Island is a long trip that crosses the Puget Sound from Dash Point and follows Colvos Passage around the island in a clockwise trajectory. From Dash Point, cross the Puget Sound heading toward the southern end of Vashon Island. Like any trip that involves a crossing of the sound, paddlers should be aware of approaching container ships, ferries, and other water traffic. The use of a VHF radio to monitor shipping traffic is highly recommended. The route around Vashon Island crosses two ferry routes on both the north and south side of the island.  

From the south side of the island, head into the protected Colvos Passage, which always flows to the north regardless of the tides. Be on the lookout for eagles, seals, and even whales along the route through this scenic, narrow passage. Paddlers have several options for camping during this route. For paddlers getting a late start from Dash Point, Lisabuela Park offers a single Cascadia Marine Trail site. For paddlers wanting to get further along, Winghaven is another marine trail site on the northern end of the island. From Lisabuela, continue north through Colvos Passage and round the north end of the island. Once paddlers round the north side of the island and leave the protected nature of Colvos Passage behind, the currents become stronger and the crossings between points of the island become longer and more exposed. Continue paddling along the shoreline and choose the best place to cross back to Dash Point depending on the currents and conditions.

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Nearby Camping + Lodging

(2 within a 30 mile radius)

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(88 within a 30 mile radius)

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