Day 1: Arrive Anacortes
If you fly into Seattle, a direct shuttle will take you to the seaport town of Anacortes (2.5 hours). With an overnight on Fidalgo Island, savor your first taste of fresh Pacific seafood and enjoy the buzz of Anacortes’ shops, cafes, and marina.
Day 2: Ferry to Lopez, Lopez Loop Ride
A quick rental bike orientation and a short ride to the ferry dock will prepare you for your first island loop, starting with the gentlest of the San Juan Islands. On the ferry to Lopez Island (approx. 45 minutes), keep an eye out for marine wildlife, including whales, seals and otters. Once you reach Lopez, also known as “The Friendly Isle,” you’ll bike the whole island clockwise, finishing up in the village for a relaxing evening at your boutique inn. Plan to make a stop at Iceberg Point to visit the San Juan Islands National Monument.
Cycle: 34 mi. (+/- 1780 ft.)
Overnight: Lopez Village
Day 3: Ferry to Orcas Island, Ride Mt. Constitution
Retrace your ride back to the ferry dock and cruise over to Orcas Island. Ride through the village of Eastsound, where you’ll stay tonight, before pedaling towards the lush hills of Moran State Park. A challenging ascent takes you through old-growth fir, spruce, and cedar giants to the 2,400-foot summit. On a clear day, soak in the views of the glacier-capped North Cascades. Atop the summit, explore the stone watch tower built in the 1930's by the Civilian Conservation Corps as a replica of the 12th century Russian Caucasus watchtowers.
As an alternative to this heart-thumping ride, enjoy a walk along one of Moran State Park’s many winding trails, opt for a free afternoon in Eastsound to visit the eclectic art galleries and museum, or go on a wildlife and whale watching tour (separate booking required).
Cycle: 34 mi. (+/- 4140 ft.)
Day 4: Ferry to San Juan Island, San Juan Island Loop Ride
After a morning ride back across Orcas Island to the ferry dock, take the next ferry to your third and final island destination: San Juan Island. The vibrant town of Friday Harbor boasts post-ride cafes, restaurants and shopping opportunities, but first, take a spin around the island.
With a variety of highlights to catch your attention, choose to stop at a lavender farm, an alpaca ranch, or a vineyard. Don’t miss Lime Kiln Point State Park and it’s iconic lighthouse, as well as a chance to spot orcas just off the point. On the northern end of the island, re-fuel with a stop in Roche Harbor before returning to the bustle of Friday Harbor.
Cycle: 40 mi. (+/- 2425 ft.)
Overnight: Friday Harbor
Day 5: Ferry to Anacortes & Onward Travel
Relax for one last morning on ‘island time,' before you ferry back to Anacortes (approx. 1 hour 5 minutes). From there, you may opt to take a direct shuttle to the airport or continue your adventures in the Pacific Northwest.
Cycle: 5 mi.
Carefully-selected, charming, and characterful inns will be your home on the San Juan Islands. All offer a warm welcome to cyclists and will help make your stay smooth as well as memorable. Due to the small, family-run nature of the lodging we choose, we may at times have to accommodate you at an alternative location due to availability. Any alternative will be similar in style and level of comfort to the properties listed here.
Solo Cyclists & Single Rooms
This trip is priced based on two people sharing a room. If you’d like separate rooms, a single supplement is required. This trip is also available to solo cyclists and a supplement is required. The San Juan Islands’ welcoming and slow-paced atmosphere makes it a great place for solo cycling.
Breakfast is included each morning. All inns serve a filling, fresh, and plentiful breakfast; some include a hot dish while others provide coffee, juice, yogurt, granola, fruit, and baked goods. Please notify us of dietary restrictions at the time of booking.
Lunch and dinner are not included, so you are free to choose from available nearby options. Depending on your timing, it may be easier to pack a picnic lunch, while some days your route will offer dining options along the way. For dinner, be sure to sample some fresh seafood at a nearby restaurant—see your info pack or your hosts for suggestions.
You can easily add extras nights during this itinerary. For further details, please ask us at the time of booking.
An updated and elegant colonial home, the Nantucket Inn is run by Jessica and Mike, Skagit Valley experts. The property has unbeatable views and location, within walking distance to town, and your stay includes signature hot breakfasts.
Located in Lopez Village, the Edenwild is run by Anthony, Crystal, and their family. Feel easily at home in their gorgeous, award-winning B&B and fuel up on hearty homemade fare in the morning.
This historic landmark property in the center of Eastsound offers hospitality down to every last detail, including outstanding views, service, and dining. With an emphasis on ‘deep rest,' innkeeper Sara and her team strive to provide a restorative experience, including the fresh-focused French restaurant on site.
Tucker House Inn
Unique, indulgent, and well-located in Friday Harbor, this inn offers historic rooms, peaceful gardens, and gourmet meals. Friendly hosts Anna and Dave will answer any questions you have about the island.
This tour is available from May to October. This tour is available to start only on Sundays and Mondays. The San Juan Islands are a popular vacation destination with limited lodging capacity, so it is best to book as far in advance as you are able.
When To Go?
The best months to visit the San Juan Islands are May to October. May, June, September and October will typically be less busy than July and August. Whale sightings are most common between May and September. Annually, the San Juan Islands boast 247 days of sun and about half the rainfall of Seattle due to the rain shadow created by the Olympic Mountains. Temperatures in the region are moderated by the Pacific Ocean and rarely rise above 70 degrees (F) or below 45 degrees (F) during our operating season, making it the perfect destination for an active adventure.
Navigating is easy using the Macs Adventure Navigation App. All daily routes with GPX tracks are available to download for use offline. Along with this app, you will also receive turn-by-turn directions and maps in your pre-departure information pack.
You'll be provided with local bike shop information in addition to 24/7 telephone support from Macs Adventure should you require assistance. However, cell phone service is not always reliable in parts of the San Juan islands.
Experience, Fitness & Grade
This tour is moderate with daily distances varying from 34-40 miles, and an average of 36 miles. This route follows a combination of coastal and rural roads, as well as busier roads entering and exiting towns. You should be comfortable sharing the road with other users and be considerate of traffic regulations.
Most of the riding is rolling terrain with many short ups and downs. However, the middle day of riding includes a sustained, steep ascent/descent of Mt. Constitution. For those looking for a little extra assistance, e-bikes may be an option, but are subject to availability. The distances and ascents/descents listed are approximations of the recommended routes.
Our pre-departure information pack has detailed advice on what to bring. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, including but not limited to, proper rain gear, sunscreen, and appropriate biking clothing, as the weather can vary greatly. If you have any questions, we'll be happy to share our tips and advice.
Please limit your baggage to 1 bag per person of no more than 50 lbs. Your bag will be transported between your inns and the ferries.
A bike renal is included in the cost of this trip. This rental includes a Trek 7.3 FX hybrid bike, helmet, lock, rear rack, waterproof bag, flat repair kit, water bottle cage, and bell. If desired, Specialized Rubaix carbon road bikes are available for an additional charge. If you would like them, please provide your own clipless pedals, shoes, and saddle. These can be installed and adjusted for you when renting your bike.
There are a limited number of e-bikes available should you want a little extra assistance. These are subject to availability and require a supplementary payment.
Please supply us with your height for your bicycle rental.
Travel insurance helps protect your travel investment, your belongings and most importantly you, from unforeseen circumstances that may arise before or during your trip. For more information, please visit our travel insurance page by clicking this link.
Getting to and from Anacortes
If you fly into Seattle Tacoma International Airport (SEA), you can easily take a shuttle directly to Anacortes (2.5 hours, 11 departures daily, $39 one way). You may also choose to rent a car at SEA and drop it off when you reach Anacortes (1 hour 45 minutes drive).
If you fly into Vancouver International Airport (YVR), you may also choose to rent a car. There is also train service from YVR via the Canada Line and Expo Line (30 minutes total, $9) which connects to the Amtrak Cascades from Vancouver to Bellingham (2 hours, from $16). Alternatively, there is Greyhound bus service between Vancouver and Bellingham (2 hours 15 minutes, from $7). Once in Bellingham, you will need to get a private transfer to Anacortes (45 minutes, between $70 and $150).
Take note if you rent a car from either airport, the only car rental operator in Anacortes is Enterprise. You may opt to rent a car here after your tour for further adventures.
- 4 Nights in B&Bs/inns
- 4 Breakfasts
- Bike rental
- Washington State Ferry fares
- Baggage transfers between inns and ferries
- Detailed pre-departure information pack
- Route notes with maps
- Macs Adventure Navigation App
- 24/7 US telephone support
- Travel to/from Anacortes
- Lunches, dinners, snacks, and drinks
- Travel insurance
- Additional nights before, during, or after your trip
- Single room or solo cyclist supplement (if required)
- Road bike or e-bike upgrades
We are often asked the following questions and I hope that
you will find the answers useful. Please don’t hesitate to contact us
if you have any further queries.
How fit do I need to be?
This trip is graded easy to moderate with daily distances between 30 km—57km. Once you have left the towns and cities much of the cycling is on quiet roads or cycle ways along rivers and through the countryside. You will encounter some stretches of very shallow hills on the first day of cycling, but these usually don't last for too long. .
It's a good idea to get out on your bike for a couple of consecutive days in the lead up to your trip so you get used to riding back to back days. However, it’s not all cycling. Each day there are plenty opportunities to visit historic sights and sample locally produced food and wine.
How far in advance do I need to book?
We suggest you book as
soon as your plans are finalised as this region is extremely popular
especially May to June and September.
Can I take my own bike?
Of course! We understand the
relationship between rider and bike and know many cyclists would never
consider riding another steed. If you are unsure, we are happy to discuss
bike hire options with you.
When is the best time of year?
April can be fresher with cooler evenings and are generally much quieter in the cities and towns. In May and September the days are beautifully warm, as the piazzas and lake towns buzz with life. During June, July and August you may encounter one of the regions many music or lake festivals. During these months days are gloriously long and hot so you may decide to cycle earlier in the day or take an extra long lunch to savour the local foods and avoid the midday heat!