The San Juan Island Archipelago consists of a staggering 172 islands, some only visible during extreme low tide (look out boaters!), and well over 300 miles of shoreline. The three largest islands are geographically unique: Orcas being the hilliest (The tallest peak is Mount Constitution at almost exactly a half-mile elevation.), Lopez the flattest and best for easy cycling and San Juan Island is a combination of both.
The shorelines are a combination of sandy, pebbly and rocky beaches, offering clumps of bull kelp, tangles of cedar, madrona and fir driftwood. Shallow harbors offer safe harbor to shallow draft vessels like kayaks and small motorboats and deep harbors provide perfect moorage for sailboats and larger yachts. Just consult your charts before you choose which ones work for you.
The islands are famous for their resident pods of Orcas (Orca Whales, or Orca Orcinus). There are three resident pods that eat salmon (there are 5 different types of Pacific salmon: King, Sockeye, Silver, Pink, and Chum) ) but also some transient orcas that come to take Harbor seals (Listen to live Orca songs here). Other marine mammals include the River otter, Steller sea lions, Common minke whales, Dall’s porpoise and other cetaceans.
Let the adventures begin!