5 Excellent Places for Beginners to Kayak in Washington State

By Ian Brookwell

5 Excellent Places for Beginners to Kayak in Washington State

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There’s nothing quite like getting into the water and kayaking in a beautiful area. The mystic scenery, the spray of the water, the new and unique experience you’ll get each and every time you go out and paddle. Starting off can be somewhat of a challenge, but Washington State’s easily accessible kayaking spots will take the pressure off. If you’re not quite ready to explore on your own, you may want to head out with a guide at first, or take a few lessons. Here are five excellent beginner kayaking spots in Washington State. 

1. Obstruction Pass State Park, Orcas Island, WA

With over 125 miles of protected shoreline to kayak, Orcas Island and Obstruction Pass State Park gives beginning kayakers a safe and reachable place to experience sea kayaking like never before. Orcas Island is a beautiful Northern Pacific island that offers amazing flora and sea life. Paddle with orca whales, or sea lions, and watch schools of fish race underneath you as you enjoy the ocean. Orcas Island offers multiple places to rent kayaks and the island also has a list of guided tours for a more controlled environment. 

2. Lake Wenatchee State Park

Located just two short hours from Seattle, Lake Wenatchee offers beginner kayakers a truly spectacular experience. Nestled in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, this glacier-fed lake gives up some breathtaking views. View the surrounding mountains from the dazzling reflections on the mirror-like surface of the lake, soak up the sun’s rays on the beach, and head out to paddle past the geese on Emerald Island. The park has all the amenities needed for a great outdoor adventure: campsites, picnic tables, bathrooms, and a boat launch for easy lake access for your kayaks. 

3. Point Doughty

Catch a view of the harbor seals, dolphins, and bald eagles as you paddle around in the calm waters off Point Doughty in beautiful Orcas Island. Take a tour with Outer Island Excursions for a three-hour guided sea kayaking tour exploring the nearby area. Enjoy the scenic views of islands as well as the stunning Mt. Baker. This beginner’s sea kayaking experience is especially great near low tide, when you can view the thousands of sea creatures who make the tidal areas their home. Make sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen! 

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4. Alki Beach Park, Seattle, WA

Alki Beach is a place of historical significance, where the first white settlers landed and met with Chief Seattle, over 150 years ago. This beautiful and historical beach gives beginning kayakers calm waters to venture out into. Alki Beach has stunning views of Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountains and boats of all sorts. Enjoy this historical beach with the whole family!

5. Lake Crescent

These glacially-carved pristine waters located in the heart of the Olympic Peninsula offer kayaking adventurers some of the most gorgeous views of nature. Rent your kayaks from the nearby lodge and enter the deep and crystal clear waters of Lake Crescent. After a row around the lake, make sure to explore the nearby hiking trails and take a rest at the campground. 

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