This blog covers trips from the book and other favorites. Contact Rob in Seattle: or 206-465-7167


Paddling to Vashon Island from Des Moines State Park - Trip #11

There's few places in Puget Sound where you can portage across an island. On Vashon Island, you have the opportunity to do this whether it's to escape rough waters for calm, access other parts of the island, or get to other destinations nearby without having to paddle all the way around the island.
Vashon's Portage seen from Maury Island.

Native peoples used Vashon's portage to save time in traveling throughout Puget Sound and by Captain Vancouver's accounts, used the narrow strip to funnel and catch birds using tall poles and nets.  This view is from above the tiny town of Dockton on Maury Island, Vashon's southeastern extension.

Trip #11 originates from Saltwater State Park in Des Moines south of Seattle, and crosses Puget Sound to the Pt Robinson Lighthouse on Maury Island.

There are Cascadia Marine Trail campsites at both Saltwater State Park and Pt Robinson.

Use the Marine Traffic app to track boat traffic before your crossing. Currents run strong through the squeeze between Pt Robinson and Des Moines, a narrow section of the Sound.

Learn more about my book Kayaking Puget Sound and the San Juans, 60 Trips. I also offer SUP and Kayak lessons available throughout the year at Salmon Bay Paddle. Questions about paddling on the Salish Sea, give me a holler anytime at or 206-465-7167

Support the Washington Water Trails Association and the Cascadia Marine Trail. The wwta works to create and protect access for paddlers on Puget Sound as well as provide an extensive network of over 60 paddle-in camping sites -

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