San Juan Island's Original Sea Kayak Outfitters & Guides Since 1980

Turn Island Wildlife Refuge Tour

We’ve got a relaxing half-day paddle and spectacular hike for those of you who want to explore a national wildlife refuge by kayak and on foot!

With only a short drive to Griffin Bay, we don’t waste time on the road!  This trip offers a fantastic few hours of paddling, hiking and wildlife viewing with no one else around!  We are a small, local company that has been sea kayaking here since 1980, and it shows in our knowledge of the “secret places” to go!

Departing from our Friday Harbor kiosk on selected days when the tide is just right, we spend our afternoon exploring the secret bays and beaches and paddling the protected waters of Griffin Bay and Turn Island National Wildlife Refuge.  Deep forest, mountain views and plenty of wildlife highlight this half-day adventure!  The bay and its’ picturesque beaches abound with harbor seals, bald eagles, Dall’s and harbor porpoise, river otters and migratory birds such as scoters, loons, harlequin ducks and mergansers.  Listen for the chatter of belted kingfishers, and the prehistoric honk of the great blue heron.

After making landfall on Turn Island, we will enjoy a scenic trail walk around this picturesque wildlife refuge with islands, mountains and ocean as far as the eye can see!  Keep eyes and ears alert for transient orca whales, which occasionally hunt harbor seals in this area.

The views of Mt. Baker, Lopez Island and the Olympic Mountains make for photo opportunities you won’t want to miss!  Your experienced, fun and friendly guide will make your trip safe, educational and memorable!  These trips run early May through September and fill up fast so reserve early!  Reservations required!


Turn Island Wildlife Refuge KayakTrip Facts

Cost: $94 per person plus sales tax.  A 50% deposit is due at time of booking with the balance charged 45 days prior to departure date.  If you are registering within 45 days of your trip date, full payment is required.  Thank you.
Difficulty: Moderate
Islands Explored: 5
Minimum Age: 14 (With limited space for 10-13 year olds in a triple kayak. Call us before booking. 360-378-4436)
Departure:  8:30 AM.
Duration/Distance: 4 1/2 hours (kiosk to return).  4 miles paddling/3/4 mile walk.
Runs when tide is just right on selected dates.  Please see on-line reservation form or give us a call.

  • Stellar and California sea lions
  • Harbor seals
  • Dall’s and harbor porpoise
  • Orca whales
  • River otters
  • Mink
  • Bald eagles
  • Osprey
  • And many other migratory and local bird species
  • Quality sea kayaks (Seascape II’s by NW Kayaks)
  • Werner carbon-fiber paddles
  • NRS and Extrasport PFD’s
  • Snap Dragon Design spray skirts
  • ThermaRest seat cushions
  • Complimentary dry bags
  • Rain ponchos
  • Services of a friendly, experienced guide
  • Transportation to launch site and return
  • Thorough and professional instruction at the beach
  • Rain coat (we have rain ponchos, if you need one)
  • Water shoes if you’ve got them ie. sandals w/ heal strap, Tevas, Chacos, Crocs, etc. or wet suit booties, aqua socks or old tennis shoes
  • 1 liter of water per person
  • Layered clothing (Capilene, polypropylene, fleece, etc.)
  • Tennis shoes for walking
  • Shade hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip salve
  • Snacks to share with the group
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Meet at our Sea  Kayak Center kiosk (275 “A” Street) in Friday Harbor at 8:15 AM
  • 8:30 AM shuttle one mile to Jackson Beach/Griffin Bay launch site
  • Thorough instruction on beach
  • Launch for points north
  • Coastal exploration of Dinner Island, Pear Pt., Reef Pt., Griffin Bay, Turn Island National Wildlife Refuge
  • Nature walk around Turn Island
  • Shuttle return to kiosk at 1 PM
  • We use only quality, state-of-the-art, fiberglass sea kayaks and gear! No wet, slow and uncomfortable plastic boats or heavy, plastic paddles are used on our tours!
  • Just a five minute ride to our beach! We care about our carbon footprint!
  • Paddle to a national wildlife refuge!
  • ThermaRest seat cushions?  Check!
  • Affordable price!
  • Fun, friendly, knowledgeable and experienced guides!
  • Complimentary storage for extra baggage or gear!

With notice 7 days or more prior to trip date a full refund minus a $25 cancellation fee. With less than 7 days before departure entire payment is retained.

Route Map & Photos

Click to Enlarge


All photos in our website have been contributed by past guests. Thanks to all who have shared their experience! And special thanks to guest Philip Robinson for his fun pics.

Contact Info

San Juan Kayak Expeditions
Tim and Sally Thomsen, Owners/Operators since 1980
PO Box 2041
275 A St, Friday Harbor, WA 98250, USA
1 (360) 378-4436
Open 7 days a week for questions & reservations.

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