10 Best Places For Kayaking In Puget Sound, Seattle


If you want to experience Seattle then there is really no better way than through the water. Take that kayak and paddle across the numerous lakes and rivers. Yes, there is no shortage of these at the Pacific North West.

Seattle is only a few minutes’ drives from countless islands and bays. Sitting there, just waiting for you to explore.

One thing is certainly true, whenever you are in the Puget Sound area of Seattle, you will experience this overwhelming urge to venture beyond the usual tourist areas with your recreational kayak and the views are nothing short of breathtaking.

And if you are flying in from far, far away, then you don’t have to deal with the hassle of carrying your own kayak, as you can always rent one out at the many kayak rental vendors where you can access a Puget Sound kayak.

With so many lakes and waterways to explore, don’t be surprised if you suddenly get bewildered not knowing where to start. Worry not!

These are the 10 best places for kayaking Puget Sound, Seattle.

1. The Quileute River

This is located in La Push. It is a perfect place for beginners as the Quileute river is really calm where you can learn how to kayak with the step-by-step beginner’s guide. The fact that it is not too deep means you will not be bothered by other boats. In fact, the only thing making ripples is your kayak and your kayak paddle.

There are plenty of awesome natural sights such as playful otters that thrive here on fish.

2. Lake Cushman

Lake Cushman opens your view to new mountain ranges whenever you take a turn. Nature is all around and you may even spot the occasional elk. Keep in mind that you are only allowed access to this lake through the Lake Cushman resort, through Skokomish park, or via the Olympic National park.

A tip to always keep in mind is to always kayak with your life jacket on.

3. The Agate passage and Liberty bay

These are a favorite kayaking spot for many owing in part to the picturesque waters and views. Even better are the many wildlife sightings that you are likely going to see on both sides.  You will see eagles, herons, otters, and even harbor seals.

If you are lucky, you might even see dolphins and porpoises. This area is an absolute treat for the avid kayaker.

4. San Juan passage

If you want to explore some of the best beaches while kayaking Puget sound then you don’t want to miss the San Juan Islands. There is so much to see starting with the largest island of San Juan with the Lime Kiln lighthouse.

Here you may spot orcas swimming about.

5. Colombia River Gorge


You can access the Colombia river gorge east from Portland or south from Seattle and it offers plenty of awesome places to go kayaking. Here you will find the little white Salmon lake, the Dead Horse lake as well as many other smaller lakes that you can explore and hone your kayaking skills.

6. Lake Union

Another excellent place for beginner kayakers is lake Union. The waters are calm and you can slowly gain experience as you enjoy the sights and scenery all around you. This is a favorite spot of many kayakers and in case you happen to flip your kayak, there are plenty of people to help you out plus the water is amazingly warm.

However, you may want to wear a kayak wetsuit when the weather is cooler and it’s always a good idea to have a kayaking buddy around who is more experienced than you.

7. Alki

If you love the serenity and calmness of still water then you will definitely want to check out the waters at Alki. This place is the perfect blend of city views and nature all around you.

Alki will provide you with an amazing way to view the city from the water. However, it’s important to note that there are boats in these waters and the best way to remain safe is to avoid them and paddle closer to the shore. This is why it’s important to hone your skills on how to paddle a kayak as you may be required to make certain efforts.

8. Hope island marine state park

Before we go any further you should know that there are two hope islands where you can check out with your Puget sound kayak. Let’s talk about the one you will find north of Olympia in Mason county. The only way to access hope island is through water which makes it such a great and adventurous place for avid kayakers.

Once you get to hope island from your kayak you can camp out in one of the many campsites in the area. There are also picnic benches where you can sit and enjoy a meal.

However, you will need to carry your own water as you will not find any supplies on an uninhabited island.

9. Lake Sammamish

This lake is found in Issaquah and is one of the best places to go kayaking Puget sound. The fact that it is so large means that different 5 types of paddles sports and watersports can be enjoyed here.

Lake Sammamish is connected to lake Washington through the Sammamish slough. This is a perfect place to kayak as well. And if you bring your camera with you, you may take some awesome pictures of eagles and other waterfowl as you enjoy your paddling.

What’s more is that when you finally want to take a rest, there are beaches around lake Sammamish that offer the ideal chill spot.

10. Rattlesnake lake

If you are experienced in kayaking and looking for a little more fun, then you might want to check out Rattlesnake lake. The lake here is not very deep which means that you will not have to worry about other boats obstructing your awesome time.

The water is also quite clear and shallow which allows you to observe tree trunks and their root systems going down into the water. The lake is small making it the ideal spot for a family kayaking experience.  And once you’ve had the most of your time in the water, there is the rattlesnake ridge to look forward to where you can take a hike.

What you should know about kayaking in Puget sound

Sometimes especially during stronger winds, the waters around Puget sound can be a bit choppy. Other times during the year the waters can get cold. It’s important to be in tune with the weather as flipping your kayak in cold water could put you at risk of hypothermia.

One way to avoid this is to wear a wetsuit. Also, it would help greatly to have previous experience in kayaking. This means knowing the various paddling techniques as well as how to roll a kayak to bring your kayak back into the right position in case it flips over.

Also, if you are out in the water in Seattle and you notice the winds picking up, a great way to prevent your kayak from flipping over is to paddle directly into the waters rather than letting the waves hit the kayak from the side.

You may want to incorporate camping with your Puget sound kayak experience and as we saw above there are plenty of camping spots near the many rivers and waterways. You can pack your camping gear and gadgets including your fishing equipment.

The one thing about kayaking in Puget sound is the many beautiful sights that you are exposed to. It would be a shame to not carry your camera with you for some great images of the amazing wildlife that is to be found here.

Globo Surf Overview

Puget sound is rich with lakes and waterways where you can get on your kayak and explore. If you prefer the serenity of a quiet day out on the water, some lakes are shallow, wild and you will not have to worry about being disturbed by boats. You are simply spoilt for choice in Puget sound.

More Kayak Reviews:


  1. Kayaking in Lake Cushman, thurstontalk.com
Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!