Exploring the San Juan Islands
July 9-18, 2024
This tour is FULL
The San Juan Islands in the state of Washington are a part of an archipelago which are known for their unparalleled beauty. USA Today has named the San Juan Islands as one of “The World’s Top Bike Rides.” We’ve designed this tour as semi-fixed base, which will allow participants to customize their experience. This is also designed as a small group, boutique tour. Multiple routes will be provided each day that vary in distance, elevation, and a variety of amazing sites to see on each route. This will be the sixth time your Ride Leaders have guided participants on a tour of the San Juans, so you’ll have the benefit of experience leaders with a thorough knowledge of the Islands.
We’ll all gather in La Conner, Washington as we prepare for our adventure, spending one night in this charming town listed on the National Historic Register. The next day we’ll take a short ride to Anacortes, including crossing the bike bridge over the Fidalgo Bay Aquatic Reserve. Once at the ferry landing, we’ll get priority loading on Washington State ferries, for Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. This will be our base for the next 5 days as we explore the other islands with free passage on the inter-island ferries. Here are some highlights which previous participants enjoyed:
San Juan Island – The largest of these islands, it is distinguished by the lively seaside town of Friday Harbor, several State Parks including Lime Kiln Point (an orca-whale lookout), National Historic Parks, lavender farms, sea kayaking excursions, whale watching cruises, and of course lots of good cycling roads. We have reserved an entire B&B just for our group.
Lopez Island – One day you’ll want to take the free ferry to enjoy a lovely loop ride that takes in forests, parks, bays, ocean views and quaint stores on what is often called the “friendliest island.”
Shaw Island – The smallest and quietest of the islands served by the Washington State ferry system, this ride makes for a scenic and relaxing day.
On day seven we’ll board one of the free Washington State ferries for Orcas Island for a two-night stay at Rosario Resort and Spa located on the shores of Cascade Bay. While some may choose to relax on this layover day, others will want to visit nearby Moran State Park with its old-growth forests and Mt. Constitution, the tallest peak on the islands at 2,400 ft. An optional climb on the forested road to the lookout tower at the top makes for a challenging ride and rewards cyclists with breathtaking views.
On day nine we’ll ride our bikes back to the Orcas ferry landing where we’ll enjoy one more ferry trip through the San Juan Channel and the Rosario Strait back to Anacortes, followed by a return bike ride to La Conner where we’ll spend one more night together. Day ten we’ll say “good-bye” to our old and new friends.