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Enjoy Biking the San Juan Islands This Summer

couple Biking the San Juan Islands

This area of Washington State welcomes thousands of eager cyclists each year, ready to explore our beautiful archipelago on two wheels. Biking the San Juan Islands is one of the best ways to get an intimate view of the landscape, state parks, and unique stops along the way. Things move a little bit slower here, affectionately dubbed “island time,” you’ll see that the San Juan Islands are the perfect place to unwind and escape the stresses of every day. And what better way to experience all this splendor than with the wind in your hair, coasting along our roadways at your own speed?

There are three main trails on San Juan Island that are best for cyclists, as well as fantastic routes on our neighboring islands. From rolling hills and farm fields to emeral green forests and rocky shoreline vistas, the untouched landscape is stunning at every turn. As you gaze off into the distance, look for those iconic snow-capped mountains. Be sure to add Lime Kiln State Park to your list, a favorite stop for biking the San Juan Islands and a popular whale-watching destination. 

First, you’ll want to secure your Friday Harbor lodging, and our San Juan Island Inn Collection is one of the best places to stay. Not only are we just minutes from the ferry dock, but our location is the best central area for setting out on adventures, whether on foot, by bike, or by car. We have complimentary bicycles for our guests to borrow, and you’ll find more rental options at Meat Machine in Friday Harbor. Read on to find out more about biking the San Juan Islands. Reserve your lodging today! 

Biking the San Juan Islands

The Best of Biking the San Juan Islands

There are three primary routes for biking the San Juan Islands with road shoulders that depart from Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. As the second-largest island in the archipelago, San Juan Island is approximately 14.5 miles long by 6.5 miles wide at its widest point. A perfect distance experienced cyclists can cover in one day, with plenty of shorter options for those new to road biking. Here are three routes on San Juan Island for exploring by bike: 

  1. Roche Harbor Road: This route heads out from Tucker Avenue to the island’s northern part. This path for biking the San Juan Islands ends at the Roche Harbor Resort, with a few must-stops along the way. Don’t miss a tasting at San Juan Vineyard, a visit to the San Juan Island Sculpture Park, a quick hike out to the McMillin Memorial Mausoleum, and strolling the docks at Roche Harbor. There are some fantastic dining options in Roche Harbor as well! 
  2. Beaverton Valley Road: This paved main arterial offers cyclists a wide shoulder. The Beaverton Valley Road path extends from Guard Street and turns into West Valley Road. You will pass English Camp at 8.2 miles and then intersect with Roche Harbor Road 1.3 miles later. Here’s a fantastic map showing the best routes for biking the San Juan Islands.
  3. Cattle Point Road: Cattle Point Road will take you to the English Camp’s counterpart, the American Camp. This trail for biking in the San Juan Islands starts at Mullis Road and heads south 5.4 miles until you reach this historic landmark. At 7.4 miles, you will hit South Beach and enjoy the incredible beachfront panorama. At about nine miles, you will arrive at the Cattle Point Lighthouse and DNR Interpretive Center. Be sure to soak in all that the San Juan Islands have to offer during your cycling adventure!

Biking the San Juan Islands: Day Trip Ideas

Hoping on the inter-island ferry with your bike is a breeze. There are many routes on the nearby neighboring islands for cyclists to enjoy. Orcas Island is a popular destination for experienced cyclists due to the narrow, curving roads, steep grades, and few shoulders. For those up for the challenge, there’s a 6-mile loop from Eastsound out to North Beach, Buckhorn Beach, and Crescent Beach. For the very bold, there’s the epic climb of Mt. Constitution to 2,409 ft with sweeping views into Canada, accessed through Moran State Park

Meanwhile, Lopez Island is the least hilly of all the islands. Lopez Village is about four miles from the ferry and an excellent start for biking the San Juan Islands. You’ll find great local shopping and dining options. Follow the main road around the island, and you will relish the stunning water views at the north and south ends, and there are plenty of places to pause for picnics, wildlife viewing, or short hikes.

The best Friday Harbor Lodging for Biking the San Juan Islands

The Best Friday Harbor Lodging for Your Adventures

Whether you’re planning your first trip or your tenth trip to the San Juan Islands, the magic of this beautiful collection of islands never wanes. When you choose our Friday Harbor lodging accommodations, you’ll quickly find that our location is second to none. If you have a car, you’ll find ample parking at the Inn, and you can easily set out for adventures biking the San Juan Islands. Our Innkeepers are a wealth of knowledge about the area, so be sure to ask for directions and itinerary ideas during your stay. 

Our 18-unit historic Inn offers a variety of eco-friendly lodging options that are perfect for couples, families, and four-legged friends. Indulge in our multi-course gourmet breakfast each morning, made from the freshest seasonal ingredients, delivered hot to your door, and always included with the cost of your lodging. 

Another perk for our guests is the large selection of add-on packages we offer to include with your Friday Harbor lodging. A fantastic addition for those planning on biking the San Juan Islands is our “Pampering for Two” package, which includes breakfast in bed, a couple’s massage, and a dining voucher for Coho Restaurant (our farm-to-table cafe that’s just about a block away from our Inn), and much more. You can spend your days cycling around the island and your evenings refreshing and relaxing those tired muscles! We can’t wait to host you; book your room today.

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lighthouse at a rocky shorline with evergree trees at back

Recognized by Travel + Leisure Magazine

We have been recognized by Travel + Leisure Magazine as the best place to stay when visiting Friday Harbor and San Juan Island.