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


Paddling Patos Island, San Juan Islands, WA - Trip #50

Located a little over 4 miles from the north tip of Orcas Island, Patos Island offers the boater or paddler relative solitude, epic views, a protected gunkhole, and curvy sandstone rock formations.  The paddle from Orcas to Patos can be easy if the wind and currents cooperate, or rather hardcore if not. Definitely a trip for experienced paddlers. We rated it 'Exposed' given the remoteness of the island and the potential difficulty to get there.

From Saturna Island in the BC Gulf Islands, the crossing is only 2.7 miles but that's through Haro Strait which can also be easy, or not due to fast moving current squeezing between the islands.

Despite the feeling of solitude from this image, in the height of summer on a weekend there were 8 or so boats moored in tiny Active Cove.  The tent on the point was huge, could probably hold up to 7 and behind it tons of camping and food supplies scattered on the grassy point out of view.

Satellite View of Patos, Here.

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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