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


Portage - A Vashon Shortcut - Trip #11

Portage from Maury Island, Seattle & Mt Rainier in backgroun
If you're paddling down Puget Sound from Seattle to Vashon Island, there's a long way around Maury Island, (SE Vashon) and a short way. The long way is over 8 miles from Tramp Harbor to the south tip of the island.

By portaging from Tramp Harbor over Portage, a narrow isthmus separating Vashon Island from Maury Island, the route through Quartermaster Harbor is only 4 miles in protected water.

Portage is approx 200 yards wide at high tide. Watch for speedy traffic. In Joel Roger's Water Trail book, a classic read, NW paddling guide Joel is seen crossing Portage during his epic paddle from Olympia to Pt Roberts following the Cascade Marine Trail.

The Shomamish People used Portage not only to shorten trips but to catch birds. By raising 300' wide nets, they would catch birds passing through the narrow gap.

Looking to rent a SUP on Vashon? Fat Cat Paddle Boarding operates during the summer on the south side of the point.

Joel Rogers crossing Portage

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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