San Juan Islands Journals

Biking the San Juan Islands

A July 1994 trip to San Juan Islands by Bobbi

Quote: We took a biking and camping trip with Backroads around the San Juan Islands, and had a WONDERFUL time. The biking was mostly very easy, the group was congenial, and the scenery spectacular.

Biking the San Juan Islands

Overview

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My then 12-year-old son made the ride up Mt. Constitution, a steep 5-mile climb (2400 vertical feet), and was SO proud of himself. We went sea kayaking and whale watching in addition to biking, and we were amazed at the individual personalities of each of the islands we visited. The biking here is great, not as strenuous as many places, and most of the islands are fairly flat (in spite of Mt. Constitution.) The folks around here are used to seeing a lot of bicyclists, so it is safer to bike here than in some places. In fact, biking is a way of life here; we met one family who was building a house on a neighboring island too small to have any stores. They go to Anacortes once a month with a big...Read More

The Majestic

Hotel

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The Majestic is a lovely Victorian inn, and the folks there could not be nicer. We had bicycles to assemble when we arrived there (and bike boxes to store for a week until our return), and they let us use the livery stable for both. They also let us leave our van parked behind the livery stable for the whole week we were gone. The restaurant in the hotel is nice, not too fancy, and they will also recommend places nearby. This was a very pleasant place to stay, and we would definitely stay here again to launch our next island-hopping adventure. Anacortes is the terminus for the ferries to the various islands, so it is very conveniently located. It is about 5 miles from The Majestic to the ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 27, 2000

The Majestic
419 Commercial Avenue
San Juan Islands, Washington

Quote:
This resort is really a rundown motel with a swimming pool. The best thing I had to say about it was that, after being in a tent for a couple of nights, this at least was enclosed and had hot showers. The restaurant was also lousy, though the portions were large.

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on October 27, 2000

Lopez Islander Resort
Fisherman Bay Road
San Juan Islands, Washington

Backroads

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
We did a so-called family trip, so the group was all families with (mostly teenage) kids--the youngest was my 10-year-old son. The group dynamics on this trip, as well as the Backroads leaders, were FABULOUS, but that is always potluck; you could get a less congenial group. The biking was really quite lazy on this trip; not much strenuous climbing, and short distances. In fact, that was my husband's biggest complaint, and he felt the need to go for extra rides from time to time to get some exercise. I enjoyed poking around the islands and stopping to explore whenever I wanted, without worrying that I wasn't going to get back to camp in time. Another attractive feature of this biking...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 27, 2000

Backroads
801 Cedar Street
San Juan Islands, Washington 94710-1800
(510) 527-1555

Orcas Island

Attraction

Quote:
Orcas Island was our first stop in the San Juan Islands, and it is a glorious island with fir trees, farms, a yacht club and lots of pottery studios. We stayed in Moran State Park Campground, amidst towering sequoias and redwoods. There are also lots of inns and bed & breakfasts, if you're not in a camping mood. There is a commune at Doe Bay, offering a mineral bath (clothing optional) and sea kayaking. (Sea kayaking is a very popular sport here, and lots of fun.) Orcas Island is home to the highest point in the San Juan Islands, Mount Constitution, at 2400 feet above sea level. From the top, there is a panoramic view of the Canadian Gulf Islands, Vancouver and the Olympic an...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 27, 2000

Orcas Island
San Juan Islands
San Juan Islands, Washington 98250
(888) 468-3701

Lopez Island

Attraction

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Lopez Island was not quite the cyclist's paradise that Orcas and San Juan turned out to be. The side of the road is unavailable for calls of nature, as it is ringed with barbed wire, and we had our one minor accident of the trip here as well.

Lopez is, however, the home of Holly B's Bakery, which we had heard about as far away as Washington, DC. Unfortunately, I can't report on whether it deserves its reputation, as it is closed on Tuesdays...

The most memorable part of our trip from Orcas to Lopez was the stop the ferry made on Shaw Island. The ferry landing there is run by Franciscan nuns in brown habits--not a sight you see every day.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on October 27, 2000

Lopez Island
San Juan Islands
San Juan Islands, Washington
(877) 433-2789

San Juan Island

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
San Juan is the largest of the islands, with beautiful pastoral scenery and Friday Harbor, the only big town we saw on the islands. We did some shopping here, including some very nice chocolate from the chocolate factory. We stayed in Lakeland Campground, and woke to the beauty of morning mist rising off the lake. We biked down to Roche Harbor, which has a pretty harbor, an inn, and a lovely garden. We then climbed for a while on the western side of the island, went to the British Camp, and the Lime Kiln lighthouse. The British camp was on a pretty bay, and is where the British were garrisoned during the 'pig war.' The only casualty of the war was a British pig (well, a p...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 27, 2000

San Juan Island
P.O. Box 1330
San Juan Islands, Washington 98250
(888) 468-3701